NDP protests Premier Christy Clark’s party pay

NDP's David Eby asks conflict of interest commissioner to examine relationship between extra pay and exclusive fundraisers

Premier Christy Clark makes about $200

Premier Christy Clark says there is no connection between the amount of money she raises at B.C. Liberal Party events and the $50,000 a year she is currently paid by the party as a leader’s allowance.

NDP critics questioned Clark in the legislature about her extra pay Wednesday, after sending a letter to Conflict of Interest Commissioner Paul Fraser asking him to review the premier’s private fundraising activities and the money she receives from the party.

The B.C. Liberal Party released totals for the premier’s allowance, showing she received $45,000 a year in 2013 and 2014, jumping to $50,000 for 2015 and 2016. Clark inherited the leader’s allowance from former premier Gordon Campbell, and its existence but not the amount is listed in her annual MLA disclosure statements.

In a letter to Fraser Wednesday, NDP MLA David Eby said Clark’s party salary “is directly related to her small, high-cost, backroom and dinner parties because the benefit fluctuated depending on the party’s fundraising.”

Clark rejected that suggestion, saying existence of the leader’s allowance has been a matter of public record since 1993.

“The NDP raise money with exclusive soirees, and the B.C. Liberals raise money as well,” Clark told reporters. “The issue for us is to make sure that we always separate our public duties from any sources of funding for our political parties.”

NDP leader John Horgan said he has received about $5,000 from his party since becoming leader in 2014, mostly to pay for clothing.