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Poilievre’s Conservatives set fundraising record in final quarter of 2022

In its first full quarter with Pierre Poilievre as its leader, the Conservative Party of Canada hit a fundraising record for a non-election reporting period. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

In its first full quarter with Pierre Poilievre as its leader, the Conservative Party of Canada finished 2022 with a blowout fundraising effort, raising nearly $9.7 million in the final three months of last year, a new record among all parties for fundraising in a non-election quarter.

It was also the first full quarter with new leadership at the party’s fundraising arm, the Conservative Fund of Canada, led by Toronto lawyer Robert Staley since late September.

Add in the $327,000 or so the party received in combined transfers from leadership campaigns and the Conservative Party ended up with a total income for the quarter of nearly $10.2 million.

Party officials confirmed Tuesday that the Conservative Fund, under Staley, is putting an increasing focus on digital-only canvassing as it tries to lower its cost of fundraising.

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The Conservative fundraising machine received donations from 60,666 Canadians — also a record number of contributors for any quarter since 2004 in which a general election was not held.

Elections Canada has been continuously publishing quarterly financial returns from major parties since 2004, or for 76 consecutive quarters.

Meanwhile, even as the Poilievre Conservatives were setting fundraising records, the party arguably to its right — the People’s Party of Canada — also hit a fundraising highwater mark. The PPC, under the leadership of former Conservative MP Maxime Bernier, raised $725,293 in the final three months of 2022, a record for the five quarters that that young party has been filing quarterly financial returns to Elections Canada. Those funds came from 5,851 donors.

The Bloc Québécois also had a historically strong fundraising quarter, notching $866,505 from 5,777 supporters. That fundraising amount was the second-best for the BQ in a quarter that did not involve a general election.

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The governing Liberals under Justin Trudeau had a reasonably strong quarter as well, raking in $5.79 million from 38,416 contributors. The dollar amount was the eighth-best of the 76 quarters stretching back to 2004 or the fifth best for non-election quarters.

 

The federal New Democrats under Jagmeet Singh raised $2.5 million in the fourth quarter of last year from 20,352 donors. That dollar amount was the party’s 10th-best quarter since 2004 or seventh-best in a non-election quarter.

As for the Green Party of Canada, even though it spent much of the last year in considerable disarray as it faced leadership and governance challenges, it still received $820,796 from 6,270 donors. That amount was the party’s 14th-best showing among the last 76 quarters, or 11th-best among non-election reporting periods.

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The quarterly financial returns do not provide information on how each party spends its money; they only provide information on sources of party income. By law, only individuals may contribute funds to political parties. Corporations, unions or non-governmental organizations are prohibited from making contributions to any entity — a candidate, a leadership contestant, a local riding association or a federal party — that is registered with Elections Canada.

Parties disclose some information about how they spend their money in their annual financial returns. Elections Canada says the annual financial returns for 2022 are not likely to be published until June.

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