NDP candidate David Eby is calling for the Auditor-General to investigate a shady corporate giveaway scheme spotlighted by a New York Times investigation this week. The program gives away millions in taxpayer dollars to unnamed corporations with no discernible benefits for British Columbians.
“Every day, it’s getting harder and more expensive to live in BC, and the only people getting ahead are Christy Clark and her rich friends,” said Eby. “British Columbians deserve to know how much of their hard-earned tax dollars Christy Clark has secretly handed to rich donors.”
Eby noted that the BC Liberals have failed to provide any credible evidence that the program creates jobs, and have refused to reveal which companies have received tax breaks and for how much. He said that an NDP government will immediately refer this program to the Auditor-General for investigation, and will cancel all aspects of the program that don’t provide provable benefits for British Columbians.
“For years, Christy Clark has been hiking Hydro, MSP and ICBC rates on hardworking British Columbians to pay for huge giveaways to the top 2% and profitable corporate donors,” said Eby. “As Premier, John Horgan will cancel shady corporate tax giveaways and invest those funds in cutting costs for British Columbians and reversing cuts to services like education and healthcare.”
Although the full list of corporations receiving these breaks is being hidden by the Liberals, Advantage BC CEO and former Christy Clark campaign chair Colin Hansen did confirm that most of their core members benefit from the program. Those members have given the BC Liberals a combined $5.8 million in donations.
Although the program has existed in different form since the 1980s, it was massively expanded under the BC Liberals in 2004 and 2010. This included larger tax breaks and expanding the types of corporations and financial activities eligible.
If the Auditor-General finds that any aspects of the program are providing a good return for British Columbians, the NDP will maintain them, said Eby.