Nfld. & Labrador

Dwight Ball releases Liberal leadership campaign donations

Liberal Leader Dwight Ball released a complete list Monday of financial contributions made to his leadership campaign.
Liberal Leader Dwight Ball talks to the CBC's Debbie Cooper about donations to his leadership campaigns 3:48

Liberal Leader Dwight Ball released a complete list Monday of financial contributions made to his leadership campaign.

Ball, who was interim leader for a year and a half, was elected to the role permanently following a five-way race in mid-November.

According to the release, $312,733 was donated to his leadership campaign, $223,321 of which was a personal contribution from Ball.

A fundraising golf tournament held in the summer raised $11,028 for the campaign, and contributions from individuals and companies totalled $78,384.

A competitive campaign 'requires a lot of money'

Ball said he was not surprised, after tallying up all the campaign expenses, that it cost $313,000 for him to run his leadership campaign. 

"It's important that you get your message out," said Ball. 

"To do that requires a lot of money. And we had to make sure our message was out there and we were competitive." 

Ball said his biggest expense was on travel, getting to various parts of Newfoundland and Labrador to campaign. 

Ball would like campaign funding changes

Ball said if people did not want their names disclosed on his list of campaign expenses, he would refund their donations to his leadership bid.  

The release said following the Liberal leadership race, Ball recommended to the party executive that it introduce a cap on financial contributions for future campaigns.

"This would allow and open up the party and make it [a leadership bid] available to many other candidates that actually show some interest in being the leader of the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador,"  said Ball.

Two other candidates release expenses

In media statements on Monday, Liberal leadership candidates Cathy Bennett and Danny Dumaresque also released their campaign expenses. 

Bennett spent a total of  $411,000, of which $156,000 was raised through fundraising efforts.  

Bennett set out guidelines at the beginning of her campaign, asking that donors limit themselves to less than $10,000 per individual or company.

The remaining $255,000 in costs were paid by Bennett.

Dumaresque spent $32,850, and he said he will return $3,000 to donors who wished to remain anonymous. 

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