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From Scheer through O’Toole, Conservatives continue to dominate 2020 political fundraising

Conservative Party of Canada Leader Erin O'Toole fist bumps former leader Andrew Scheer after O'Toole's win at the 2020 Leadership Election, in Ottawa on Monday, Aug. 24, 2020.
Conservative Party of Canada Leader Erin O'Toole fist bumps former leader Andrew Scheer after O'Toole's win at the 2020 Leadership Election, in Ottawa on Monday, Aug. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Patrick Doyle, POOL

As Andrew Scheer handed over the reins of the Conservative Party to Erin O’Toole, the party’s fundraising machine hardly skipped a beat, raising more money in the third quarter of the year than in any other third quarter outside of an election year, according to data posted online by Elections Canada.

Not only that, but the Conservative haul for the three-month period ending Sept. 30, at $5.66 million, was more than all other federal parties combined for the same period.

Read more: Erin O’Toole taps James Dodds to oversee Conservative party’s fundraising arm

The Liberals raised $3.11 million in the third quarter from 32,871 donors; the New Democrats $1.33 million from 16,860; the Green Party $813,247 from 16,195; and the Bloc Québecois $299,507 from 1,824.

The Green Party, like the Conservatives, was also involved in a leadership election contest for most of the year and, again like the Conservatives, had its best-ever third-quarter fundraising result outside of an election year.

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For the Liberals, the 2020 third-quarter contribution total was the lowest in a non-election year since 2013.

For the New Democrats, the 2020 third-quarter results are a marked improvement over the last non-election year third quarter under leader Jagmeet Singh. In 2018, the party raised just under $862,000 in the third quarter and has now boosted by more than $450,000.

Read more: Canadians donated far less to federal political parties in height of coronavirus pandemic

For most of the year, Conservative donors were being asked by one or several leadership contestants to donate to those campaigns in addition to donating to the party. And yet, despite being tapped one or more times, Conservative donors have now pushed their party to the top in the fundraising charts in all three quarters.

The federal Conservatives have raised the most money in each of the first three quarters of 2020 according to data posted online by Elections Canada.
The federal Conservatives have raised the most money in each of the first three quarters of 2020 according to data posted online by Elections Canada. GLOBAL NEWS / David Akin

For the first nine months of 2020, the Conservatives lead all parties with $13 million raised followed by the Liberals at $8.6 million, the New Democrats at $6.5 million, the Greens at $2 million and the BQ at $615,586.

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All parties in the late summer have pushed their fundraising campaigns into overdrive in the expectation that there could be a fall federal election.

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Under federal election financing law, only individuals may contribute to a party or a candidate and those donations are capped. An individual may contribute a maximum of $1,625 to party headquarters and another $1,625 that may be spread among a local riding association, a local candidate or a candidate in a nomination contest. Donations by corporations, unions, charities or any other organization are prohibited.