Alberta NDP collects more donor cash than UCP for first time since 2017
EDMONTON -- The Alberta New Democrats beat all rivals – including the governing UCP – in quarterly fundraising for the first time since 2017, numbers released Wednesday show.
The NDP and its constituency associations raised just over $1 million from April 1 to June 30, while the governing United Conservative Party raised the second-highest total at $642,000, according to financial statements filed with Elections Alberta.
“We are speaking up for Albertans on issues that matter to them, like healthcare, education, and workers rights, and these fundraising totals show that Albertans are behind us,” NDP Leader Rachel Notley said in a news release.
The NDP had lost 10 consecutive quarterly-fundraising races to the UCP, and its $1.6 million raised so far in 2020 still trails the governing party's nearly $1.9 million.
A spokesperson for the United Conservative Party suggested the numbers were a blip caused by the pandemic.
"Unlike the NDP, our party did not see the early shock of the pandemic as a fundraising opportunity. Our party made the choice to not only slow down our fundraising, but stopped many of our activities, out of respect for our strong donor community,” UCP President Ryan Becker said in a statement to CTV News Edmonton.
The Alberta Party was a distant third at just over $20,000 raised in Q2.
Alberta election law caps provincial political contributions at $4,243 per person each year.
The NDP statement also criticized the UCP for taking a wage subsidy provided by the federal government in its pandemic response. The NDP is eligible for the same money but did not take it.
“Jason Kenney diverted emergency pandemic relief money from Alberta taxpayers without their consent to support his political party. That’s disgraceful, and we call on him to return every single dollar to taxpayers,” NDP Provincial Secretary Brandon Stevens said in the release.
The premier has defended the decision to take the federal cash.
“Unlike the NDP, the UCP suspended partisan fundraising for weeks following the beginning of the pandemic out of respect for Albertans,” Jason Kenney said in May.
The UCP president concluded his statement Wednesday by saying his party is still strong.
“We are very pleased that our supporters still showed up in a significant way during this difficult period in Alberta's history to keep our party strong as we build towards the next election," Becker said.
A complete list of parties and their donors over $250 can be found here.