Tories double up Liberals in first-half fundraising

By Sammy Hudes and and Allison Smith August 4, 2021

The Conservative Party continues to outpace its rivals in fundraising efforts this year, according to Elections Canada’s newly released second quarter figures, raking in nearly double the dollars than the Liberals throughout 2021.

After bringing in nearly $5.1 million from April to June — about $1.8 million more than Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals — the Conservatives’ 2021 war chest holds about $13.6 million ahead of an expected upcoming fall vote. The Opposition party says it’s the most it has ever raised in one half-year outside an official election year.

Although the Grits’ $3.3 million in Q2 contributions lagged behind, the dollars flowed from 36,495 donors — 1,630 more than the Conservatives benefited from over the same period.

From January to March, the Tories raised close to $8.5 million from just over 45,000 donors, to lead all parties. The Liberals, meanwhile, got $3.5 million from around 33,600 contributors.

“Our team has put forward Canada’s Recovery Plan to create jobs and get our economy back on track, and Canadians have overwhelmingly responded,” Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole said in a statement in response to the fundraising figures.

“Over the past few months, Conservatives have reached out to tens of thousands of Canadians to hear their concerns and talk about their priorities, and these fundraising results are a direct result of that outreach, and show that Canada’s Recovery Plan is the path forward for this country.”

The NDP raised about $1.5 million in the second quarter of 2021, after its $1.6-million haul earlier this year.

So far in 2021, the Green have pulled more than $1.3 million, while the Bloc Québécois have brought in just over $685,000.

But if a federal election were held today, 36 per cent of decided Canadians would cast their ballot for the governing Liberals, who lead the Conservatives at 29 per cent, according to a separate Leger poll.

Twenty per cent of respondents said they would vote for the NDP, seven for the Bloc and four for the Greens.

Trudeau would make the best prime minister, according to 27 per cent of respondents — however 49 per cent remain dissatisfied with his government’s performance. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is the second best bet for PM, according to 19 per cent of respondents.

Surprisingly, he leads both Trudeau and CPC Leader Erin O’Toole on that metric in Alberta and the rest of the Prairies.

The Liberals’ lead drops to four points ahead of the CPC when undecided respondents and those who say they don’t plan to vote are taken into account.

Unifor takes on O’Toole in new TV ad
Canada’s largest private sector union is wading into the as-yet-unannounced federal election campaign with a new 30-second television ad bashing CPC Leader Erin O’Toole — and his provincial counterpart in Alberta, Premier Jason Kenney.

The ad, which dropped Tuesday, plays like a standard car commercial but features a beaten-up old blue pickup truck with a door falling off.

“The next model of conservative is here, meet the 2021 O’Toole,” says the male voiceover. “Ready to steer Canada in the wrong direction.”

The campaign will run on major television networks over the coming weeks, per the union, which called the ad “one pillar” of its advocacy plan for the anticipated election.

“Canadian voters won’t be fooled by a new name on the bumper. We know exactly where Conservative policies will take us – more cuts and more money to big corporations, while working Canadians are left behind,” Unifor president Jerry Dias said in a press release.

The ad also takes a jab at Alberta’s premier, who is facing backlash in his province over Covid policies and an attempt to cut nursing wages. O’Toole is “driven to cut health care and public services, just like Jason Kenney … new name, same old conservative,” it concludes.

Unifor, which counts autoworkers among its membership, helped ink a lucrative investment deal between Ford Motor Company, Ottawa and Queen’s Park last fall to retool Ford’s Oakville plant for elective vehicle production.

The union says Tories were defeated in 72 per cent of the 69 ridings it targeted during the 2019 federal vote.