Burnaby's BCA: You don't know Jack!

Post by Mike Klassen in

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Burnaby gets large cheque
Corrigan gets a big cheque from the province. Did the BCA give one to itself?

Something stinks in Burnaby, and it's not goose bathroom known as Deer Lake. The fact that you cannot access any financial disclosures for Burnaby's recent civic election online is a travesty. CityCaucus.com reported recently that Burnaby's efforts at campaign disclosure are stuck in the stone ages. With a population just over 200,000 citizens, the city has no system for sharing campaign disclosure on its website, making it the ONLY major jurisdiction in Metro Vancouver without it.

Burnabyites might just want to know a little more about the Burnaby Citizen's Association (BCA), the group that just swept the Mayor's office, City Council and the School Board in their city. Go to their website however, and there is NOTHING. No information on the Association, no list of directors, no by-laws, no history of the organization.

Aside from some self-flattering news clippings and candidate bios, the BCA website reveals little about the organization. Their very funny membership form only asks your basic coordinates, whether you're at least 13, and whether you're a member of the BC NDP! If being a member of the NDP is a consideration of the association, why doesn't the BCA just call themselves the NDP instead?

union-label.pngThe membership form even includes a detail so small that you hardly notice it - a union logo for the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union (CEP) a centimetre wide at the bottom of the sheet!

Okay, we get it. Burnaby is governed by the BC NDP and trade unions. The people of Burnaby have spoken. But to the people running that city, could you at least humour us a little with some effort at transparency? What the heck are you guys taking so many pains to hide anyway?

How about the fact that your biggest campaign donor was yourself?

Huh?

The Burnaby Now in a story about campaign spending in Vancouver's neighbouring borough reported that the BCA donated $108,750 to the BCA. In fact, the association were the association's top donor!

So we ask, how does a political association give a donation to itself? Is there a BCA lemonade stand somewhere we don't know about? Are they selling pop and potato chips at events at premium prices?

I'm sure there's a great explanation for it. But you sure can't find it out if you live in Burnaby.

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