Pierre Poilievre has won the fundraising race among candidates seeking the leadership of the federal Conservatives, raising more money in the second quarter of the year than his rivals combined.
Elections Canada says the Ottawa-area MP got $4-million in donations compared with $1.3-million for former Quebec premier Jean Charest.
In results released on Tuesday, the agency had Ontario MP Leslyn Lewis raising $709,060, followed by $541,706 for Brampton, Ont., Mayor Patrick Brown, who was disqualified from the race over allegations of financial irregularities.
Next up was $504,649 for Roman Baber, a former Progressive Conservative member of the Ontario legislature, and $363,922 for Ontario MP Scott Aitchison.
But as Elections Canada released the figures on Tuesday, the Poilievre campaign said it had some concerns about the party’s management of figures.
Campaign spokesperson Anthony Koch said in a statement that it is the Poilievre campaign’s understanding that the Conservative Party is about three weeks behind in processing donations, and hopes the official filing will be updated to reflect the campaign’s own numbers.
Conservative spokesperson Yaroslav Baran said the party has verified and processed more than $11-million in directed contributions for leadership campaigns in the second quarter.
However, he said it is still processing about $2.5-million received in the quarter on behalf of leadership campaigns in line with Elections Canada specifications, and that these will eventually be counted.
Meanwhile, Mr. Charest’s campaign said he is still competitive despite falling behind Mr. Poilievre’s campaign.
Michelle Coates Mather, communications director for the Charest campaign, said the second-quarter figures are a snapshot in time.
In a statement, she added that Mr. Charest’s campaign has surpassed $3-million and continues to raise more each day.
“Fundraising dollars will not determine the leader of this race,” she said, adding that party voters in each riding will determine the outcome of the leadership competition.
The result is to be announced on Sept. 10.
Steve Outhouse, Ms. Lewis’s campaign manager, said her fundraising numbers reinforce what has been seen across Canada.
“While Charest and Brown garnered more media headlines and attention from pundits, Leslyn has been building a grassroots movement that is exciting Conservative voters across the country,” Mr. Outhouse wrote in a statement.
Mr. Poilievre had a total 36,804 donations, averaging $109.84, while Mr. Charest had a total 4,191 donations averaging $328.44 each.
On Wednesday, three of five candidates will participate in a party-sanctioned debate in Ottawa. The campaigns of Mr. Poilievre and Ms. Lewis have said they are skipping the debate to focus on getting out their vote and engaging with party members.
Over all, the Elections Canada figures indicate that the Conservatives raised more than $4.4-million from about 36,000 donors between April 1 and June 30. Meanwhile, the Liberals raised nearly $2.8-million from almost 28,000 donors and New Democrats received almost $1.2-million in contributions from nearly 16,000 people.
Parker Lund, communications director for the Liberal Party, said the Elections Canada numbers are favourable for the Liberals.
He said in a statement that 27,936 Canadians contributed $2,760,802 over the second quarter of 2022, and 99 per cent of donations were under $200 – “a testament to the party’s strong grassroots support – and the median donation was $10.50 at a time.”
Meanwhile, the federal Greens raised almost $438,000 from about 5,200 Canadians, while more than 1,600 people donated about $248,000 to the Bloc Québécois.
The People’s Party of Canada, which does not hold any seats in Parliament, raised just under $200,000 from about 4,000 donors.
All parties, except for the Greens, received less money from donations in the second quarter than in the first three months of the year.
With a report from The Canadian Press
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