The City of Burnaby is curiously promoting the Mayor's annual fundraiser in their calendar
If you live in a big city in Canada, you likely receive a nice calendar from your local city hall outlining when to look out for garbage day or the annual city parade. It’s the kind of item that gets a lot of use in my busy household . However, in the City of Burnaby, the calendar is causing a bit of a stir as one of the items listed in it has a few partisan political overtones.
If you are a Burnaby resident and received your calendar from Mayor Derek Corrigan and council earlier this year, you may want to flip to July 14th. There is an important event that the City of Burnaby wants you to attend. It’s titled the “Mayor’s Annual Golf Tournament”. The problem is the tournament is not put on by the City of Burnaby, rather, it’s Corrigan’s political party sponsoring the event. That’s right, the Burnaby Citizens Association is holding a fundraiser and it’s being promoted in the City of Burnaby’s taxpayer funded calendar.
David Field, a local Burnaby resident, is up in arms with City Hall over what he believes is overt politicking on the City’s dime. CityCaucus.com has obtained a copy of a letter he sent to the Chief Electoral Officer whereby he states:
I am writing in regards to the recently discovered announcement in the City of Burnaby 2010 calendar advertising the Mayor's Annual Golf Tournament on Wednesday July 14th. This City of Burnaby calendar used taxpayer’s money to develop, print, distribute and clearly makes this event look like it is sponsored by the city of Burnaby.
I was thinking this is great, an event that will wholly benefit a local charity. Imagine my surprise when I discover this "charity" event is a political fundraiser for the municipal political party called the Burnaby Citizens Association (BCA). The very same political party that the mayor, entire city council and school board trustees belong to.
As a disclaimer "A donation will be made to a Burnaby Registered Charity" is included at the bottom of the flyers advertising this event. Nothing is mentioned as to how much the BCA political party will make and what percentage of the profits will be donated, or which registered charity will be the lucky recipient.
I have learned that based upon the fact that this is not an election year, the profit to the BCA political party from this event do not even require submission to Elections BC. – No one would have known!
How many years in the past has the City of Burnaby calendar and taxpayers money been used to further the coffers of the BCA political party in Burnaby city council? How many times have the people of Burnaby been duped into thinking this is a city sponsored event?
Can you please look into the legality of using taxpayer money to fund the City of Burnaby calendar and having the mayors political party using it to advertise for a blatantly motivated political fundraiser? I know for sure this is ethically wrong at the very least! The taxpayers deserve to know!
According to documents produced by the BCA for their fundraiser, it costs $200 per participant with major sponsors forking over up to $5K each to have their names associated with the tournament. In very tiny font at the bottom of the form it states that a portion of the proceeds will go to an unnamed charity.
As we’ve seen at Vancouver City Hall over the last two years, the politicization of the public service has become a very hot topic these days. It would now appear the BCA is catching the same illness afflicting their brothers and sisters next door.
At a minimum I think the Mayor should apologize to the citizens of Burnaby for this gaffe and perhaps commit to donating at least half of the proceeds to a local charity. After all, taxpayers helped to promote the event, surely they should receive some benefit too.
- Post by Daniel