On Monday, we broke the story that Vision Vancouver Councillor Raymond Louie may not have to publicly disclose who donated the tens of thousands of dollars toward his failed leadership campaign. According to legal advice obtained by CityCaucus.com, a loophole in the Vancouver Charter, the legislation governing the City, allows the Councillor to keep his donors under wraps - permanently.
In an interview with CityCaucus.com, Marg Coulson, Acting Chief Electoral Officer for the City of Vancouver confirms that Louie is not under any obligation to reveal his leadership campaign donors.
"Someone who ran for a leadership campaign is required to keep a record of their donors, but they are not required to disclose them," says Coulson. Given this interpretation of the law, we may never know who provided Louie with the funds to run his campaign.
It has been estimated that Louie raised in excess of $100,000 when he ran against both Mayor Gregor Robertson and former Park Commissioner Al DeGenova for the leadership of his party. Despite previously committing to openness and disclosure, Louie has refused to provide the public with a complete list of who financed his campaign.
According to Louie, the obligation to disclose his donors rests with the Vision Vancouver party brass. To date they have refused to make this information public. It's a case of "transparency amnesia" according to the Courier's City Hall watcher Mike Howell.
Councillor Louie provided Vision Vancouver with a complete disclosure of his donors sometime last year.