At the end of October 2014, two donations totalling $12,500 from an individual and his property management company, were accepted by COPE. $9,500 was donated personally, and $3,000 from the corporation.
At COPE’s subsequent Executive meeting, on November 23rd, the Executive was notified of the donations and voted to return them, determining that donor fit the definition of “developer.”
COPE is in the process of developing clear policy on what constitutes a developer. The donor in question does not engage in real estate development. He did, however, work as a developer in the early 1990s, which is the basis of some of the experience listed on his website.
COPE recognizes that vetting procedures which should have been in place around developer donations were either deficient or overlooked. COPE is working to identify and rectify the problems caused by these deficiencies, and will develop a robust system of checks and balances moving forward.
On November 4th 2014, COPE voluntarily disclosed to the public the election donations received to date. Omissions in the voluntary disclosure will be investigated and remedied. The legal deadline to file the full campaign finance disclosure with Elections BC is February 13th, 2015.
COPE is taking these errors seriously and is currently developing internal processes to address this issue, including clarifying donations policies and vetting procedures to avoid future errors.
COPE wholeheartedly apologizes for letting down the voters of Vancouver, our membership, and the candidates who campaigned in good faith.