How much did Kevin Falcon spend in the 2022 by-election?

Elections BC reports released Aug. 4 show Falcon received $84,374.37 in transfers from party headquarters and spent the same amount on his return to the MP.

More than two months after spending too much to win the BC Liberal leadership, Kevin Falcon has waged a balanced by-election campaign in Vancouver-Quilchena.

North Vancouver resident Falcon won the April 30 by-election by a margin of 3,610 votes.

He was sworn in May 16 to fill the seat vacated by former leader Andrew Wilkinson.

Elections BC reports released Aug. 4 show Falcon received $84,374.37 in transfers from party headquarters and spent the same amount on his return to the MP.

Falcon spent $40,302.09 on advertising, including lawn signs, promotional materials, door-to-door and cold-calling, social media and surveys. Salaries and benefits were the second largest item at $9,647.06.

He requested reimbursement of $33,539.87, which is half of the eligible expenses counted under the campaign finance grant program.

The largest provider at $13,860 was ElectRight Inc., a company that advertises survey, robocall and telephone town hall services.

Falcon’s biggest fundraiser raised $27,348.59 on April 8 at the Shun Feng Seafood Restaurant in Richmond, with 23 people in attendance.

NDP runner-up Jeanette Ashe, wife of Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart, received $53,704.43 in transfers from her party headquarters and reported $53,662.92 in expenses.

Ashe spent $12,509.87 on professional services and only $10,997.02 on advertising. The largest sole provider was Airbnb for $6,279.96. She requested reimbursement of $21,896.16 in expenses.

Ashe’s main fundraiser was on April 8 at the Croatian Cultural Center in East Vancouver, where the party raised $12,692.69 at an event involving seven caucus members, including Adrian Dix and David Eby. The party’s biggest fundraiser during the byelection period was Premier John Horgan’s April 21 fundraiser in Langford, which raised $24,000.38.

In June, Falcon announced that his leadership campaign had cost $1.078 million, nearly $500,000 more than the party’s cap on each candidate. Falcon spent more than $519,000 during the leadership campaign on professional services, but neither Falcon nor the party provided details.

The party said it was satisfied that Falcon followed the proper rules and guidelines, so it did not issue a fine or disqualification. He was, however, fined $500 by Elections BC for late filing.

The race was held under a cloud of controversy as Falcon’s six opponents complained of thousands of fraudulent memberships sold by Falcon’s team. A British Columbia Supreme Court judge denied a party member’s motion to delay the release of results for 15 days to investigate the allegations.

The next provincial election is scheduled for October 2024, but Falcon will not face Horgan, who announced in late June that he would step down as premier this fall. David Eby is the only declared candidate and could be acclaimed Horgan’s successor if no one else enters by October 4.

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