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Developers funded NPA's failed Vancouver mayoral candidate

Suzanne Anton spent $70,924 on 2011 civic election campaign

Developers and investment companies supplied the bulk of the money to NPA mayoral candidate Suzanne Antons unsuccessful campaign to unseat Mayor Gregor Robertson in the 2011 civic election.

Anton spent $70,924 on her campaign and received donations of $3,000 each from 10 companies, including Concord Pacific Developments Inc., Plaza of Nations landlord Canadian Metropolitan Properties Corp., Magnum Projects Ltd., Arthur Bell Holdings Ltd. and Larco Investments Ltd. Emaar Properties (Canada) Ltd., film equipment company Pacific Backlot Services Ltd. and Vancouver Professional Baseball, which owns the Vancouver Canadians, were other $3,000 contributors to Antons run for mayor.

The financial details of Antons campaign were recently filed at city hall, where all candidates, political parties and campaign organizers must file documents by March 19 indicating how much they spent on the election and provide a list of contributors.

Robertson, who was first elected in 2008, has yet to file his documents.

Antons spending does not include the money raised and spent by the NPAs central campaign, an amount that wasnt filed at city hall as of Thursday. It is expected to be in the $2 million range. Antons documents also exclude money she raised at a fundraiser at the Sutton Hotel long before she announced her candidacy for mayor.

The Courier left a phone message for Anton Wednesday but had not heard back before Thursday mornings print deadline. The Courier has interviewed Anton several times about campaign financing. Like Robertson, she has called for spending limits and said contributors have never influenced her votes at council. The documents reveal Anton spent $28,000 on the partys association fee and more than $17,000 on advertising, including newspaper and billboard ads. Another $13,000 was spent on research and polling, $6,620 on campaign staff and $5,259 on convention and similar meeting expenses.

Anton, who previously served two terms as a city councillor, ran a campaign touting a downtown streetcar network, promising to return city budget surpluses to taxpayers and to cut at least $1 million in ineffective Vision Vancouver pet projects such as backyard chicken coops and wheat field programs. Anton lost to Robertson by more than 18,000 votes.

Mike Klassen, the NPA candidate with the biggest profile next to Antons during the campaign, spent $35,668 in his first run for office. Rize Alliance Properties, which currently has a controversial tower project before council, gave Klassen the biggest lump sum at $5,000.

Keneco Canada Ltd., Inwest Investments Ltd., Wesbild Holdings Ltd., Pageant Holdings, Holborn Holdings and Macdonald Development Corp., whose owner Robert Macdonald was the NPAs chief fundraiser, all contributed $2,000 or more to Klassens campaign.

Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Ltd. gave $500.

Klassen placed 13th in the council race, with 47,869 votes. The NPAs representatives on council are George Affleck, who spent $33,416 on his campaign and Elizabeth Ball, whose financial documents hadnt been filed as of Thursday.

Twitter: @Howellings