Andrew Wilkinson is making British Columbians pay for his choice not to fundraise

Andrew Wilkinson’s decision to stop fundraising from BC Liberal donors while collecting the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy is wrong, says BC NDP Executive Director Raj Sihota.

In this morning’s BC Today, Wilkinson explains his low fundraising numbers by admitting the BC Liberals have not been actively fundraising for months:

“In the second quarter, we decided to put a pause on [fundraising] because it seemed to be in particularly bad taste to be fundraising through the peak of the pandemic.”

Countless businesses and organizations have lost revenue during the pandemic through no fault of their own. The wage subsidy exists to help them. But that’s not the case with the BC Liberals, who have made a choice not to fundraise.

“If Andrew Wilkinson doesn’t want to ask BC Liberal members to donate, that’s his decision,” says Sihota. “But he shouldn’t be making British Columbians pay for it.”

After curtailing fundraising efforts at the height of the outbreak in March and April, the BC NDP successfully adapted to focus on online fundraisers, emails, and phone calls.

While the BC NDP and Greens both raised more money in the second quarter (April-June) than in the first (January-March), the BC Liberals raised less than half. That revenue decline was required for the BC Liberals to qualify for public funds through the wage subsidy.

“It’s one thing if an organization is trying to fundraise but not succeeding,” says Sihota. “That’s a legitimate use of the program. But Wilkinson has quite literally chosen to put his donors first and make British Columbians pay for it.”