Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef answers a question in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on Thursday, December 10, 2015. (Photo: Fred Chartrand/CP)
Monsef pledges crackdownIn a statement to The Canadian Press, Monsef vowed: "We will ensure that spending rules — both during and between elections — are in keeping with our democratic commitment to make voters, not dollars, determine the outcome of elections."
"We will ensure that spending rules — both during and between elections — are in keeping with our democratic commitment to make voters, not dollars, determine the outcome of elections."Monsef's statement and her reference to "political entities" appears to go further than the Liberal election platform, which promised to close the "loophole" created by the Conservatives' fixed date election law, which allows unlimited spending in the run-up to a pre-determined campaign. The platform promised to ensure that spending between elections is subject to limits and also to review limits on how much parties can spend during elections. It did not make any specific mention of third party spending during elections. The third parties in the 2015 campaign included a number of progressive groups who advocated strategic voting to defeat Harper's Conservatives, as well as some individuals. Their spending ranged from as little as $136.66 to a high of $431,640. According to the reports filed with Elections Canada, the top ten third party spenders during the last campaign were: — United Steelworkers: $431,640 — Let's Build Canada, a coalition of building trade construction unions advocating for public investments in infrastructure: $428,975 — Canadians United for Change, a union-linked organization: $425,462. — Public Service Alliance of Canada: $390.236. — Friends of Canadian Broadcasting: $332,687. — Canadian Labour Congress: $306,518. — Unifor: $299,902. — British Columbia Nurses Union: $256,872. — Canadian Media Guild: $237,033. — Canadian Union of Postal Workers: $208,572.
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