Saskatchewan NDP candidate quits; cites financial strain of long campaign
REGINA – A Saskatchewan NDP candidate has pulled out of the federal election over what she says is the financial pressure of a historically long campaign. Sandra Arias declined an interview, but says in a letter posted on her Facebook page that the monetary strain has been too much to bear for her and her family.
Arias was running in the riding of Battlefords-Lloydminster, which is currently held by Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, who took 67 per cent of the votes in the last federal election.
John Tzupa, the NDP’s campaign director for Saskatchewan, said he doesn’t know how much Arias would have spent on her campaign. But he pointed out she would have had access to a fund aimed at supporting women candidates.
Tzupa said Arias has been replaced by Glenn Tait, who also ran for the party in 2011.
The unusually long campaign activated a provision in election laws that allows parties and candidates to more than double the spending limits of a traditional campaign – an advantage to the Conservative party which has raised more money.
Combined, the parties could spend more than $53 million on their national campaigns, and candidates, on average, about $214,000.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said last month that he called the election earlier than usual because his rivals were already campaigning and doing it on the public dime. He acknowledged that his party was on the best financial footing to run an extended campaign and was sitting on significantly more cash than the NDP, Liberals, Greens or Bloc Quebecois.
© 2015 The Canadian Press