B.C. Liberals, NDP spar over donation from billionaire developer

The B.C. NDP is blasting Liberal Leader Christy Clark for meeting with one of the most well-known property developers in Vancouver after he made a sizeable donation to her party.

Elections B.C. records show billionaire businessman and philanthropist Peter Wall donated $400,000 to the B.C. Liberal party in February 2016.

According to the NDP, the records show the donations were made from three separate companies affiliated with Peter Wall:  BJW Investment ($100,000), PWO Investments ($100,000)  and 2300 Kingsway Residences ($200,000).

The party released a video Wednesday that shows Clark meeting with Wall in April 2016 — two months after that donation was made.

At an event on affordable housing on Wednesday in Burnaby, NDP Leader John Horgan accused Clark of granting exclusive meetings with donors and catering to their interests.

"I believe that the B.C. Liberals sat idly by for years ignoring the [housing] crisis because it was working well for them," said Horgan.

"Whose interest is it to see housing prices go up?... It's in the interest of the wealthy developers. Those are the ones that have been bankrolling the B.C. Liberals."

Clark responded to the barbs at an event in Surrey on Wednesday. She was forthcoming about her meeting with Wall and said it was not a secret meeting.

"[The meeting] was outdoors in a public plaza. It wasn't a private meeting," said Clark.

The Liberal leader defended those types of meetings and said they haven't influenced any of the decisions she's made.

"I can tell you [Peter Wall] and every other major developer in B.C. was mighty upset with me when we brought in a foreign tax of 15 per cent. They were mighty upset when we brought in a luxury tax on homes over $2 million," said Clark.

Clark then accused Horgan of being influenced by donations from the United Steelworkers.

Both Horgan and Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver have called for a ban on corporate and union political donations.

In March, Clark as premier, also announced the formation of an independent panel to look into ideas around campaign finance reform.