What is the NPA hiding? Why did NPA Council Candidate not file “Financing Disclosure Statement”?

Update: Tuesday May 8, 2012 from Councilor Geoff Meggs:Mr. Meggs website:
This just in: the NPA’s Francis Wong, so late filing his campaign finance disclosure that he is barred from running the next election, has now submitted his statements after all. Add $34,812 to the NPA’s total spending of $3.1 million.

Also circulated to the City Clerk, Mayor and council: an apology and a $500 penalty payment for late filing. Wong’s failure to file in time was disclosed at last week’s council meeting. He also missed the deadline for filing with a penalty payment, resulting in his prohibition from running in 2014.


This morning at City Council the City Clerk informed Councilors that NPA candidate Francis Wong did not file a “Financing Disclosure Statement”.

While on the surface this may seem a trivial matter but it is quite serious. Particularly because Mr. Wong ran with a major party in Vancouver, the Non Partisan Association (NPA), which spent millions in the last election. By not filing, the public has no way to know how much was spent in the last election and where the funds came from. This is a significant issue of transparency and accountability for the NPA to the Vancouver residents by not being in compliance with the Vancouver Charter.

At City Council on Tuesday May 1, 2012, the City Clerk gave a report entitled: Campaign Financing Disclosure Statements for 2011 General Local Election – Disqualification From Running For Office. The report stated that seven candidates that stood for office in the November Civic election did not file financial disclosure statements that declare how much was spent in the election.

Councilor Geoff Meggs questioned the Clerk on what the procedure is for the City to gain compliance to the Vancouver Charter, which requires that every candidate in the election declare how much they spent in the election. The City Clerk informed Cl. Meggs that when a candidate does not submit a statement they are called and requested to file and will be permitted to after the deadline if a $500 fine is paid. The City has no authority in the Vancouver Charter to force a candidate to file, except to disqualify an individual to stand for nomination in the future. Cl. Meggs raised the concerned that the City’s lack of authority to enforce compliance was a pretty serious flaw in the Vancouver Charter.

The report from the City Clerk states the following:

Section 64.2 of the Vancouver Charter requires that the City Clerk present to an open meeting of Council the name of any candidate, elector organization or campaign organizer that did not file a disclosure statement by the end of the late filing period and did not pay the late penalty of $500. Under the Vancouver Charter, if a candidate (or elector organization/campaign organizer) fails to file by April 18 and pay the late penalty, they are disqualified from running for office (or endorsing a candidate), in any municipality in the Province until after the next general local election. This report is to comply with the statutory requirement to report to Council.

At the meeting Cl. Jang pointed out that there was gap between how much money the NPA declared it spent and accounted for. This leads to questions if money may have been hid in Mr. Wong’s campaign that was used for the NPA campaign, but not declared to the City Clerk.



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