Conservatives out-fundraise Liberals by nearly $5 million in first quarter of 2023

·2 min read

OTTAWA — The Conservative Party of Canada brought in more donations during the first three months of the year than any other federal party.

Financial statements from Elections Canada show the Conservatives raised more than $8.3 million during the first quarter of the year from nearly 46,000 donors.

The Tories routinely outperform their political rivals on fundraising, and this time they beat out the governing Liberals by nearly $5 million.

The Liberals brought in about $3.6 million from nearly 31,000 donors during the same period.

The New Democrats, who agreed to support the Liberals in the minority Parliament with a supply-and-confidence deal, raised almost $1.3 million from about 16,000 donors.

The Green party brought in nearly $401,000, the Bloc Québécois brought in more than $322,000 and the People's Party of Canada raised over $296,000.

The Conservative party said in a statement that their fundraising bounty "speaks to the growing movement of Canadians who are putting their hard-earned dollars behind a leader who is listening to them and speaking to their concerns."

The Liberal party may have trailed the Conservatives by a wide margin but it can still point to positive news in having its best first-quarter showing in three years.

Liberal party spokesman Dmytro Basmat said it was a strong first quarter for the party which followed a byelection win in Mississauga in December.

Basmat said 97 per cent of donations were for less than $200, and half the donations were made $10 or less at a time

Basmat called that "a true testament to the party's strong grassroots support."

"While Pierre Poilievre and the Conservative Party believe that the best way to fundraise is by doubling down on negative and divisive politics, Justin Trudeau and our Liberal team are focused on moving forward with a positive plan to make life more affordable, create good middle class jobs, and deliver clean air and a strong economy — and all of our grassroots fundraising approaches have reflected that focus," Basmat said in a statement.

However, the Tories can brag that they have widened the gap between their results and those of the Liberals since Pierre Poilievre took the helm.

While the Conservative party was consistently ahead of Liberals in the first three quarters of 2022, the biggest gap was $1.8 million in the first quarter. That lead widened to $4 million in the last three months of the year after Poilievre's election as leader in early September, and then $4.7 million in the first three months of 2023.

As the party grows its fundraising momentum, Poilievre said in a statement that his party will continue to fight for Canadians to have "a decent life."

He said the Liberal government's policies "have broken this country and have made Canadians broke."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 2, 2023.

Mickey Djuric, The Canadian Press