POLITICS

Conservative Fundraising Machine Dominates Despite Election Loss

05/03/2016 12:28 EDT | Updated 05/04/2017 05:12 EDT
OTTAWA — The federal Conservative party may have lost the October 2015 federal election, but its fundraising machine remains the king of the hill.

First quarter data released by Elections Canada show the federal Conservatives raked in almost $5.5 million through the first three months of 2016, more than the Liberals and New Democrats combined.

The governing Liberals collected just over $4 million — but may take some comfort in beating the Conservatives in the absolute numbers of donors who chipped in.

rona ambrose

Conservative Party interim leader Rona Ambrose speaks to reporters about the federal budget on Parliament Hill, Tuesday, March 22, 2016 in Ottawa. (Photo: Justin Tang/CP)

Just more than 35,900 Canadians made a contribution to the Liberal party in the first quarter of 2016, exactly 3,400 more donors than the Conservatives reported.

The NDP, which fell to third party status in last fall's election after entering the race hoping to win power, collected just $1.3 million in the first quarter, from a donor base less than half the size of the Liberals.

Donations to political parties are heavily subsidized through generous tax breaks that cost the federal treasury more than $20 million a year — although a public per-vote subsidy was eliminated by the previous Conservative government.

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