Trent Ernst, Editor
How much does it cost to win an election?
According to figures released by Elections BC, it cost Mike Bernier $73,312.81 to take the Peace River South riding.
That’s more than all the other candidates put together.
Mayor Darwin Wren, who ran for the NDP in the election, spent $35,657. Kurt Peats, who ran for the BC Conservatives, spent $26,821.69,
Independent Tyrell Pohl managed to spend $2668.52, most of that coming out of his own pocket.
Bernier actually under spent, as he was able to raise over $103,000 between fundraising and funds from the BC Liberal party.
About $85,500, came from the party, while about $15,700 came from businesses and corporations. The last $1,500 came from individuals.
Bernier won the election with about 47 per cent of the vote.
About half of his budget went towards advertising and promotions. Again, that’s more than double Wren, who spent only $19,700.
At the end of the campaign, Bernier had about $32,400 left over, more than Wren had in his total budget for the campaign.
Kurt Peats was able to drum up about $16,600 in donations during the campaign. But he spent over $26,000. The extra money came from his own pocket. “That’s why I’m out working in the bush, paying off my debt to society,” Peats jokes.
He says that most of the money the campaign got came from individuals. “It was a grassroots movement. People were saying ‘someone needs to represent us, the people.’”
He says that he’s proud of that. “If you want to find out someone’s priorities, just follow where the money comes from.” The Liberals attracted the majority of their donations from business, while Wren’s only outside donation was $1,800 from CUPE.