Labrador byelection spending high, but still below limit

Elections Canada documents show that the Liberal and Conservative candidates in last spring's federal byelection in Labrador came under the spending limit – but they still spent a lot of money on their campaigns.

Elections Canada releases documents on 2013 federal byelection campaign spending

The documents show that the Conservatives and the Liberals spent more than $70,000 each on their respective campaigns, but remained well under the $90,000 limit imposed by Elections Canada. The amounts shown for spending do not include personal expenses incurred by the candidates, which are not covered under the cap. (Peter Gosse/CBC)

Elections Canada documents show that the Liberal and Conservative candidates in last spring's federal byelection in Labrador came under the spending limit – but they still spent a lot of money on their campaigns.

Former Labrador Conservative cabinet minister Peter Penashue prompted the byelection after resigning his seat due to questions about his campaign spending in the 2011 federal election.

He took dozens of illegal donations from corporations that went over his spending limit. When Elections Canada auditors investigated the case, Penashue had to give the money back.

After that spending scandal, all of the candidates said they would be closely watching the money.

Penashue ran in the byelection in May, but he was defeated by Liberal Yvonne Jones.

The documents show that the Liberals and the Conservatives spent more than $70,000 each on their respective campaigns, but remained well under the $90,000 limit imposed by Elections Canada.

Penashue was once again successful in his fundraising efforts, raising almost $50,000 from more than 60 contributors. They include many business leaders in Labrador, including the owners of the Hotel North, the local Coca-Cola distributor, and the head of Universal Helicopters.

Meanwhile, Jones raised only about $11,000. Instead, she relied on more than $60,000 sent in from other ridings across Canada, including ridings in Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Halifax and Ottawa. She also received $5,000 from Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau's riding of Papineau. 

NDP candidate Harry Borlase was given an extension to file his financial information.

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