VANCOUVER, B.C. – On Sunday March 3, 2019, The Green Party of Vancouver issued a cheque to local real estate developer Jon Stovell to return a $1200 contribution he made to its election campaign last fall.
The donation was returned because it contravened the party’s donation policy which states, ‘the party and its endorsed candidates shall not knowingly accept donations from individuals who are CEOs, owners, executive, or board members of commercial property development companies or corporations in the fossil fuel sector.’
Local Election Campaign Finance rules prohibit donations by corporations, but the legislation allows any Canadian citizen and resident of British Columbia (including heads of corporations) to donate up to $1200.
The Green Party’s own donation policy has been in place since 2011 and specifically precludes accepting donations from real estate developers. Stovell is the president and CEO of Reliance Properties, and chair of the Pacific Region UDI.
“I want to make it clear that we have nothing against Jon Stovell personally, and we appreciate his generosity; but we a have a strict donation policy around donations from real estate developers, and that hasn’t changed,” said Pete Fry referring to the refund.
Stovell made a contribution to the Green Party’s school campaign the day before the election. The Green Party was reviewing the public record over the weekend and realized a few contributions to its school campaign had been duplicated in error on its civic disclosure. The public record states that Stovell contributed $1200 to both the Green Party’s school and civic campaigns; his total contribution was actually only $1200.
Stovell’s donation to the Green Party’s school campaign initially slipped through the cracks and was not identified as a developer contribution; when the review this weekend brought his name into focus steps were immediately taken to refund the money. The Green Party of Vancouver apologized to Mr Stovell for not noticing earlier and will be submitting an amendment to Elections BC.