Teck Resources, Goldcorp invest heavily in BC elections

Weak commodity prices may forcing miners to sell-off assets, fire employees and delay projects but some spending just can't be cut: According to a report by Vancouver's Straight, mining companies were the biggest donors to the Liberal party in British Columbia's 2013 provincial elections.

Teck resources – one of Canada's biggest coal producers – together with it's 97%-owned Teck Highland Valley Copper gave $222,400 to the BC Liberals. In addition, Norman B. Keevil, a Teck board of directors, personally gave the group $50,000, according to data released by Elections BC on Tuesday.

Political affiliations did not seem to guide donations – the companies also gave $62,000 to the New Democratic Party (NDP) making them the NDP's largest contributors after labour-groups.

Highland Valley has also been a major jobs contributor – a recent article by Kamloops' Daily News reported that the miner was hiring between 15 and 20 people in the region each month.

The mining sector is the Liberal's most benevolent benefactor. Goldcorp – head-quartered in Vancouver – gave $200,000 this year.

Silver Wheaton also made the list with a $104,000 gift to Premier Christy Clark's Liberals.

As for individual contributors, Ian Telfer, CEO of North American Metals, and Gwyn Morgan, former board chairman of SNC-Lavalin, each spent $50,000 on the Liberals.

In total, the two mining companies were the fourth and fifth biggest spenders during the 2013 elections, beat-out only by public employee unions which gave exclusively to the NDP.

Coal is BC's largest export and accounts for 89% of Canada's shipments. The oil industry also covets the province as a location for the Northern Gateway pipeline project. Shortly after her election win, Christ Clark said no to the pipeline, "at this point," pending several recommendations to make it less of an environmental burden.

Read Straight's full story here