There were stark contrasts in election spending between the Richmond candidates of the two major provincial parties in the 2017 election, with the BC Liberals outspending the NDP in three out of the four ridings.
The BC Liberals won all four seats in 2017 with only one a very tight race.
Richmond-Queensborough MLA Jas Johal squeaked by his NDP rival, Aman Singh, with only 134 votes.
This was after Johal spent more than double on his campaign compared to Singh – Johal’s expenses during the election period were just over $67,000 while Singh spent about $30,000.
The only Richmond NDP candidate to spend more than his BC Liberal opponent in 2017 was Chak Au, who ran against long-time incumbent Linda Reid. Au spent about $71,500 on his campaign compared to Reid’s approximately $68,000 in election-period spending.
The 2017 incumbent MLA in Richmond-Steveston, John Yap, spent almost $64,000 on his campaign while his NDP opponent, Kelly Greene, spent just over $21,000.
In Richmond North Centre, Teresa Wat spent almost $65,000. Her NDP opponent, Lyren Chiu, spent one-third of that with a total of election-period spending of about $19,000.
Spending was restricted to $77,674.62 per candidate in the 2017 election period – after the writ was dropped and the election period declared.
Candidates, however, weren’t limited to how much they could spend before the writ was dropped. Three of the four Richmond BC Liberal candidates spent more before the election period than after the writ was dropped. Yap spent about $78,000, Johal spent $100,000, Wat spent almost $69,000 and Reid’s pre-election spending was just over $54,000.
This compares to NDP candidates who spent between just under $9,400 (Singh) and about $1,400 (Chiu).
Other expenses, not subject to expense limits, added to the election spending totals for all eight candidates.
Candidate election spending is limited to $66,123.96 in the 2020 provincial election.
Total election spending for BC Liberal and NDP candidates in 2017, as listed in the Election Financing Reports
John Yap (Richmond-Steveston BC Liberal): $152,095.52
Kelly Greene (Richmond-Steveston BC NDP): $30,244
Jas Johal (Richmond-Queensborough BC Liberal): $171,555
Aman Singh (Richmond-Queensborough BC NDP): $42,752
Teresa Wat (Richmond North Centre BC Liberal): $171,268.05
Lyren Chiu (Richmond North Centre BC NDP): $23,791.15
Linda Reid (Richmond South Centre BC Liberal): $143,723.46
Chak Au (Richmond South Centre BC NDP): $90,764