The federal Liberal government will raise the maximum amounts political parties can spend in the run-up to an election after striking a deal with the Opposition Conservatives to allow the government’s election bill to move ahead. The bill’s proposed spending limits during what will be called the “pre-election” period were a major concern of the Conservatives, who generally lead the way when it comes to fundraising and would be in a position to outspend their competitors in the weeks before an election campaign. The Conservatives had attacked the pre-election spending limit as a blatant attempt by the Liberals to tilt the electoral rules in their favour, by limiting the ability of opposition parties to advertise during a period when the governing party continues to have access to government-funded travel and other avenues for self-promotion.
Under the agreement between Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould and her Conservative Party critic, Stephanie Kusie, the pre-election spending limit would change from $1.5-million to $2-million.
“I’m just really glad that the bill is moving forward,” Ms. Gould said in an interview. “This is how Parliament is supposed to work.”
The next federal election is scheduled for October, 2019, but the Conservative Party is already running ads to promote party leader Andrew Scheer.