BCA trustees each spent $20,000 more than Green on Burnaby school board race

Mo money was apparently not the key to breaking a decade-long Burnaby Citizens Association monopoly on the Burnaby school board, according to disclosure statements for last October’s local elections.

When the Burnaby Green Party elected Christine Cunningham to the board ahead of two BCA trustee hopefuls, they ended 10 years of single party rule – and they did it with a lot less cash.

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The Green’s school board slate, which included Cunningham and Emily Zhang (who missed a spot on the board by 3,644 votes) spent a total of just over $2,734 on the campaign, according to the documents released this week.

school board election results
Election results for the 2018 school board election shows Burnaby Green Party candidate Christine Cunningham with the sixth-most votes.

The BCA slate, which included six successful trustee candidates (Gary Wong, Larry Hayes, Ryan Stewart, Bill Brassington, Peter Cech and Jen Mezei) and one candidate who fell short (Suresh Bhayana), spent a whopping $340,942.

The BCA raised $21,134 for the school board campaign after Oct. 31, 2017 (when legislation banning union and corporate political donations at the local level came into effect) but already had $553,425 in its coffers from earlier fundraising.

Each BCA candidate spent $20,874 during the official month-long campaign period, according to the disclosures, while Cunningham spent just $840.

The four independent candidates, meanwhile, spent sums between $43 (Melissa Chang) and $993 (Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson).

Chang, who got the 10th most votes, garnered 1069 more than Tyler Thompson.

Tyler Thompson is now running under the banner of the People’s Party of Canada in the Feb. 25 federal byelection in Burnaby South to replace MP Kennedy Stewart who is now the mayor of Vancouver.

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