OTTAWA – The Liberals pumped almost $700,000 into four B.C. ridings in the last election, dethroning two Conservative incumbents and one New Democrat, and losing to the NDP in the hotly contested riding of Vancouver East, election spending data show.
The money to help four Liberals get elected included $225,415 to help Pam Goldsmith-Jones defeat Conservative John Weston in the B.C. riding of West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country, and $213,638 in Surrey-Newton where Sukh Dhaliwal defeated NDP MP Jinny Sims.
Those amounts, the highest to any riding the central party helped financially in the last election, were targeted in areas where the Liberals expected to be in tight races in a region all three parties considered a key campaign battleground.
The transfers from the national party down to the four local candidates were part of more than $4 million in financial help the party doled out before, during and after the election to help Liberal candidates get elected on Oct. 19.
The spending was more than the combined total funding transferred from the top down to the riding level by the Conservatives, NDP, and Green party combined.
In all, the four big parties that ran candidates across the country sent almost $8 million in cash, goods and services to help local candidates, based on a review by The Canadian Press of some 6,000 transactions filed before the end of March by about 1,500 candidates in the last election.