Inside Look Into Campaign Donors
Kevin Falcon's 2006 Election
By SEAN HOLMAN, 24 HOURS
Kevin Falcon is a popular man among property developers, managers and builders.
So popular, in fact, that the provincial Liberal transportation
minister's financial agent collected at least $61,500 from the industry immediately prior to and during the 2005 election campaign.
And he received a further $18,500 from transportation firms, according to an analysis conducted by 24 hours.
When asked about the appropriateness of receiving donations from two sectors that could be impacted by the decisions he makes, Falcon replied, "I think the fact I do receive and proudly receive lots of support from the development industry is no great surprise given that that's my background. That's where I came from," having been vice-president of Northwest Investment Properties Inc.
"And I think you'd find, even before I was transportation minister, that I had support" from the industry in the 2001 election.
And as for donations from the transportation industry? "I don't
remember (those contributions) being a factor at all."
Transportation critic David Chudnovsky wouldn't weigh in on whether he thought those donations were inappropriate, saying "I'm not going to make a particular comment about a particular minister or situation. What I'm going to say is that people have a right to look for campaign finance reform. That's what (the New Democrats) are putting before them. And we think it's legitimate for them to ask questions about who's funding politicians."
Among the more notable companies handing over money the minister's financial agent were Emerson Real Estate Group, Kingswood Holdings Ltd. and Progressive Construction Ltd., which once employed cabinet minister Olga Ilich as its executive vice-president.
Those companies have partnered to develop the controversial Campbell Heights business park.
The park has been under fire from environmentalists who say the
construction work is damaging one of the few remaining fish habitat areas in the Lower Mainland. Combined, those firms wrote cheques totaling $21,000.
Other contributors of interest include Southern Railway of British
Columbia Ltd. president John van der Burch.