Conservatives increase fundraising advantage in first quarter of election year

The Conservative party fundraising machine has gone into overdrive while New Democrats and Liberals seem to have stalled during the first quarter of an election year.

OTTAWA — The Conservative party fundraising machine has gone into overdrive while New Democrats and Liberals seem to have stalled during the first quarter of an election year.

The latest financial reports filed with Elections Canada show the governing Conservatives raked in $6.3 million in the first three months of 2015 — up almost $1.7 million over the same period last year.

The number of donors to the party also jumped by almost 10,000 to 41,161.

By comparison, the Liberals pulled in $3.9 million — only slightly higher than the first quarter of 2014, while the number of donors dropped slightly to 34,508.

The NDP’s haul actually dipped by $200,000 to $2.3 million, although the number of donors to the party increased by more than 6,000 to 28,060.

For more than a decade, the Conservatives have been the undisputed federal fundraising champions.

The Liberals and NDP had been steadily catching up over the past couple of years but now, with an election just six months away, the Conservatives are once again increasing their money advantage.

However, both opposition parties say their numbers are better than they appear at first glance.

The Liberals say their first quarter results in 2014 were artificially boosted by the party’s national convention. A portion of the convention fees paid by some 2,500 delegates counted as donations, adding almost $1 million to last year’s take.

Take the convention revenue out of the mix and, Liberals argue, they actually increased their fundraising haul this year by almost $1 million.

New Democrats say their first quarter numbers last year were boosted by just over $1 million the party received in estate gifts — which are now illegal, thanks to legislation passed last year by the Conservative government.

If the estate gifts are taken out of the mix, the NDP argues its fundraising haul has actually increased by 50 per cent this year.

Conservative party spokesman Cory Hann has a different take on the latest numbers.

“The results show that Canadians are continuing to donate more to the Conservative Party because they know the tough job of being prime minister requires a strong, serious leader,” Hann said.

“They’re rejecting the high-risk, high-tax, high-debt schemes of (Liberal Leader) Justin Trudeau and (NDP Leader) Thomas Mulcair.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Many rural seniors are having to travel a long way to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Stettler residents are being told to go to Red Deer, Drumheller or Camrose. (Black Press file photo).
Rural central Alberta seniors have to travel far to get vaccines

Stettler residents are being directed to Red Deer, Drumheller or Camrose clinics

Hölmetrics CEO and co-founder Chad Verity said the Red Deer area could become a tech hub. (By SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)
Red Deer-area tech company attracts international attention

Focusing on economic diversity in Red Deer region

The Red Deer Public Library downtown branch will likely not reopen as quickly as other branches because work needs to be completed on its HVAC system replacement. (File photo by ADVOCATE staff)
Preparation work begins on reopening Red Deer’s libraries

CEO hopes to know more about reopening dates later this week

(Photo from Highway 11 Functional Planning Study)
Public input wanted for Highway 11 improvement plan

Round 2 of public online engagement continues until March 10

Workers were busy getting a tall crane in place Thursday morning for the construction of the new courthouse in downtown Red Deer. The facility will include modern technology and replace the existing courthouse upon completion expected in spring 2023. Photo by Paul Cowley/Advocate staff
Red Deer building permits down slightly in February

The Real Canadian Superstore in Red Deer will be getting a facelift.… Continue reading

Red Deer dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped save a missing pet recently. The two dogs have more than 80,000 followers on Twitter. (Contributed photo)
WATCH: Red Deer science dogs help save lost pet

Red Deer science-communicating dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped rescue a missing pet… Continue reading

A locally-produced video project aims to preserve Canada’s railway history

‘Railways have been an integral part of Canadian history since 1836’

Ryan Jake Applegarth of Ponoka, 28, is scheduled to appear at Ponoka Provincial Court on March 12, 2021. (File photo)
Discussions about justice continue as Ponoka murder victim’s case proceeds

Reaction to comments Ponoka Staff Sgt. Chris Smiley made to town council last month

Dr. Stanley Read
Hometown Bashaw doctor recognized with alumni award for AIDS work

Dr. Stanley Read, born and raised in Bashaw, is considered a global health leader

A nurse assistant prepares a dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for COVID-19 during a priority vaccination program for health workers at a community medical center in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Andre Penner
COVID-19 cases start to climb again as variants spread, in step with dire forecasts

OTTAWA — Canada’s chief public health officer says new COVID-19 cases are… Continue reading

Shipping containers are seen at the Fairview Cove Container Terminal in Halifax on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Statistics Canada to release final economic figures for 2020, January GDP estimate

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada is expected to say today precisely how bad… Continue reading

FILE - In this Jan. 31, 2020, file photo, former NBA player Shaquille O’ Neal is interviewed on the red carpet for Shaq’s Fun House in Miami. O’Neal is set to perform in his first competitive match when he teams in All Elite Wrestling with Jade Cargill in a mixed tag to take on Cody Rhodes and Red Velvet at Daily’s Place on an episode of “Dynamite,” Wednesday, March 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)
Shaq Attack: O’Neal ready to rumble in tag match for AEW

O’Neal’s first competitive match with All Elite Wrestling

Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee President Seiko Hashimoto, center, speaks during a Tokyo 2020 executive board meeting in Tokyo, Tuesday, March 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara, Pool)
Tokyo Olympics add 12 women to executive board to reach 42 per cent

Board will now have 19 women among its 45 members

The Stratford Festival’s Festival Theatre is shown in Stratford, Ont., on May 28, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Robins
Stratford Festival plans next stages with two outdoor summer venues

Ontario festival productions set for between late June and the end of September

Most Read