Liberals announce new reporting on ministers' fundraising

After months of controversy about its fundraising practices, the Liberal Party says it will publicly advertise all events attended by the prime minister and other ministers and report on the attendees.

Moves follow months of controversy over lucrative Liberal events

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a fundraising event in a private home in Toronto last year. The opposition has been highly critical of Liberal cabinet ministers attending private party fundraisers. (Shenglin Financial/shenglin.com)

After months of controversy about its fundraising practices, the Liberal Party says it will publicly advertise all events attended by the prime minister and other ministers and report on the attendees.

As announced by the party on Thursday morning, fundraising events will now be listed on the party's website, including the required donation amount to attend. According to the Liberals, events will be posted at least three days in advance. A list of attendees will be posted no more than 45 days after each event.

The party says fundraisers will be held in "publicly available spaces" and it is offering to "facilitate" media coverage of events.

Opposition parties repeatedly questioned the attendance of the prime minister and other ministers at fundraising events, at least one of which required a $1,500 donation to attend. That is close to the annual contribution limit for political donations.

Such events were in contrast with ethics guidelines committed to by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, which suggest, "There should be no preferential access to government, or appearance of preferential access, accorded to individuals or organizations because they have made financial contributions to politicians and political parties."

In January, the Liberals committed to introducing legislation that would require similar reporting requirements for events attended by ministers, opposition party leaders and leadership candidates.

NDP critic Nathan Cullen was unpersuaded by the Liberal party's new measures.

"This is nothing more than smoke and mirrors from the Liberals. They will continue offering access to ministers in exchange for Liberal Party donations even though Trudeau literally wrote rules against holding these cash for access fundraisers," Cullen said in a statement. "Instead of ending this unethical practice, the Liberals have decided to dress it up a little differently."

The NDP has proposed legislation that would put new restrictions on who a minister could raise funds from.

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