Opposition leaders say political donors bought $1,500 tickets to meet PM Justin Trudeau at a cash-for-access fundraiser in Quebec, but the Liberals insist they haven’t broken any rules.
And you can thank Canada’s political financing laws, which award donors significant tax credits for contributions to political parties and in election years reimburse parties half or more of their election expenses, to the tune of tens of millions of dollars.
”Mr speaker, it’s great to see the PM really, Interim NDP leader Tom Mulcair said during question period on Wednesday ”I feel kind of Lucky because I didn’t have to pay $1,500 to get in here”
Political contributions are subsidised by taxpayers in two ways. Firstly donors receive non-refundable tax credits worth 75 percent of the first $400 donated, 50 percent of the next $350 and 33.3 percent of the remaining donation topping out at a maximum credit of $650.
Secondly, parties and candidates receive reimbursements for election expenses at rates ranging from 50 percent for national parties to 60 percent for candidates who get at least 10 percent of the vote in their riding.
This means that a $1,500 donation made to the Liberal party to attend an event headlined by the Pm will result in a $650 tax credit money is spent in the next election campaign.
A smaller donation is an event worse deal for taxpayers. A $400 contribution to a political party means $300less for the treasury and $200 in election expense reimbursements to a party-turning a $400 donation into the equivalent of $500 of taxpayers subsidies.
Justin Trudeau either understands that this is unethical and potentially illegal or he is just willfully breaking the rules,” Conservative opposition leader Rona Ambrose added on Wednesday which is it?
At issue is yet another $1500 per person fundraising event, this one featuring the prime minister. This is one occurred in Montreal on September 14 at the Westmount home of a former Liberal senator.
Sylvia Leduc a long time Liberal volunteer and entrepreneur, was invited along with other Liberal donors. But leduc declined. The $1,500 price tag was too steep, she even thought she’d get half that money back with her tax return she told to Media.