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ABC Vancouver outspent nearest challenger by almost 2:1 margin in municipal election

Ken Sim addresses supporters after being declared the next mayor of Vancouver, on Oct. 15, 2022. Ken Sim addresses supporters after being declared the next mayor of Vancouver, on Oct. 15, 2022.
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Mayor Ken Sim's A Better City Vancouver party spent nearly twice as much as any other party on last year's municipal elections, according to data released by Elections BC Thursday. 

Financial disclosure statements released by the non-partisan office indicate that ABC spent nearly $1.7 million on its city council and mayoral campaigns, along with more than $400,000 on its Vancouver School Board campaign.

Former mayor Kennedy's Stewart's ill-fated "Forward Together" party spent the next-highest amount, at not quite $1.1 million. Forward Together did not run any candidates for the VSB, however, meaning its total was barely more than half of the combined $2.1 million ABC spent.

No other municipal party in Vancouver spent anywhere close to those totals.

The Non-Partisan Association spent the next-highest amount, at just under $640,000 on mayor and council candidates, plus $17,000 on the school board race. None of the NPA's candidates were elected.

In terms of converting expenditures into seats, the Green Party was perhaps the most efficient party, electing two city councillors, two school board trustees and the only non-ABC member of the park board on roughly $162,000 of spending (approximately $45,000 of which was spent on the VSB election).

OneCity Vancouver, which was the only other party to win a seat on council, spent $354,000 on that race, plus another $81,000 on the school board race, where it also won one seat.

Looking at the amount of money each party raised again shows ABC with a decisive advantage.

The party reported more than $1.4 million in total income for its city council and mayoral campaigns, plus $361,000 for its school board campaign.

Forward Together reported $618,000 in total income, less than half of ABC's haul.

Notably, a sizeable portion of ABC's income – roughly $414,000 – is listed as "other income" in the party's filings, rather than campaign contributions from individuals. 

A breakdown of the party's "other income" lists the sources of those funds as Ken Sim and council candidates Lisa Dominato, Rebecca Bligh, Sarah Kirby-Yung and Peter Meiszner.

Sim is listed as the source of $275,000, provided in three chunks – $100,000 in August, $150,000 in October and $25,000 in November, after the election.

Dominato is listed as the source of more than $80,000 across three contributions. Bligh provided $25,000 across four installments, and Kirby-Yung and Meiszner provided funding on one occasion each, for just less than $31,000 and nearly $3,000, respectively.

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