Deputy Liberal Leader Goodale decried the new higher spending limits for political parties for the current 78 day election campaign which Liberals estimated could cost Canadian taxpayers at least $54.5 million per party rather than the $25 million for the previous 37 day 2011 election campaign.
Last year, the Harper Conservatives introduced new spending limits for political parties during the campaign. Under these rules the political parties will receive a 50-cent rebate from taxpayers for each dollar spent on the campaign. The Liberals estimated that this longer election could cost Canadians an extra $27.5 million per party.
This in turn means that the Conservatives, the party with the largest war chest could receive an additional $13.5 million in rebates because of this longer 78 day campaign.
Spending figures are unavailable for the Liberals, the New Democratic Party, the Green Party or the Bloc Québécois at this time but it is clear that their war chests are considerably less than those of the Conservatives. But as each party will receive 50 cents for each dollar spent, it is conceivable that this could cost taxpayers at least an extra $10 million in total to other political parties in extra rebates. This could make a grand total of about $25 million in extra rebates to all political parties caused by a longer campaign paid by Canadian taxpayers.
Recently, the Chief Electoral Officer for Canada was interviewed on CTV’s Power Play and he was unable to provide a more precise spending estimate for this longer election campaign.
The critical needs of First Nations are well known to Canadians. Many First Nations in the Anishinabek Nation need improvements in clean potable drinking water, housing, health care, education, improved opportunities for post secondary education and infrastructure such as improved roads, water and sewer facilities and improved funding for band councils, tribal councils, and provincial treaty organizations. An extra $25 million could provide many of these needed services and improve the quality of life for Anishinabek citizens.