Burnaby's newest MLA was the city's top spender in the recent provincial election, according to campaign financing reports released by Elections B.C. Monday.
The reports, required by the Elections Act, outline where candidates obtained their money and what they spent it on.
Jane Shin, MLA for Burnaby-Lougheed spent $110,599 - more than any other candidate. Most of the money went to salaries and promotional materials, such as signs, brochures and newsletters.
For Shin, unions were the largest contributor, donating more than $17,000. Of those, COPE 378 was the top donor, handing over $14,624, and listing Sage Aaron, Shin's campaign manager, as one of the contributors. (According to Aaron, the contribution included in-kind labour, as she was managing the campaign and another COPE member was coordinating volunteers). The NDP paid $80,280 for Shin's campaign through the constituency association or directly from the party.
Richard Lee, the Burnaby North MLA and the city's lone Liberal, came in slightly behind Shin, spending $109,808. As in the 2009 election, Lee spent a sizable sum (more than $22,000) on research and polling, and unlike other candidates, he listed zero for salaries. Lee told the NOW his campaign accounts for wages under the research and polling category, as some campaign workers are making telephone calls to voters, and that under professional services category are payment for a campaign manager
His spending priorities focused on media advertising, promotional materials and postage. Lee had no contributors listed, apart from the B.C. Liberal Party.
Burnaby-Deer Lake MLA Kathy Corrigan spent $81,129 and had more than $23,000 left over. Corrigan also received a sizable donation from unions, mainly the Canadian Labour Congress and the Canadian Union of Public Employees, but the NDP covered the lion's share of the campaign, transferring close to $73,000. Salaries were Corrigan's top expense, followed by promotional materials.
Raj Chouhan, MLA for Burnaby-Edmonds, had the leanest campaign in Burnaby, spending just $69,950. Chouhan had very little income in the way of political contributions; only $714 in small sums from a variety of sources, as the majority of the funding was transferred from the NDP and its Burnaby-Edmonds constituency association. Chouhan listed $200 in expenses for transportation (using a private vehicle) and $700 on meals.
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