Nova Scotia

Iain Rankin's bid to become N.S. premier has raised $130K so far

Timberlea-Prospect MLA Iain Rankin became the first Nova Scotia Liberal Party leadership candidate to release information about financial contributions on Wednesday.

Former cabinet minister first of 3 candidates to release financial donor information

Iain Rankin's leadership campaign has raised about $130,000 from 210 donors. (Jean Laroche/CBC)

Nova Scotia Liberal Party leadership candidate Iain Rankin has raised almost $130,000 since the start of his campaign in October.

Rankin's team released donor information on Wednesday that shows 210 donations ranging from $10.61 to $5,000 as of Jan. 6, for a total of $129,223.03. The Timberlea-Prospect MLA's campaign is the first to provide financial information.

Randy Delorey's campaign was the first to release donor information last month, producing a list of 103 names of people who had contributed to the Antigonish MLA's leadership bid as of Dec. 4, although that list did not include details about how much people donated.

On Wednesday, Delorey's team provided CBC News a donor list for all of December that included 116 names, some of which overlap from the previous list. It did not include financial contributions.

Halifax Citadel-Sable Island MLA Labi Kousoulis is the only one of the three candidates thus far not to provide some level of disclosure about campaign contributions.

In a statement, a campaign spokesperson said they are "all for transparency" and would look at what's possible in terms of disclosure.

"This week and next we are in the thick of delegate signups but this is something we can speak to the party on to see what reporting will already be made and what we can do to support this transparency."

Elections Nova Scotia rules

The party's leadership rules do not require individual campaigns to disclose contribution information. Although the party is required to release donor information according to Elections Nova Scotia rules, that disclosure would not distinguish what campaign a person contributed to, but rather be recorded as a contribution to the party.

Spending for the leadership campaign is capped at $350,000.

The COVID-19 pandemic has largely curtailed traditional campaign efforts, with all campaigns moving to a virtual approach to adhere to public health guidelines. That's meant trading face-to-face meetings for lots of Facetime and Zoom meetings, along with the more conventional working of the phones.

The deadline for new members to join the party and become a delegate is Jan. 7 and existing party members have until Jan. 12 to register as a delegate. From there, leadership candidates and their supporters will be working to secure as many undecided delegates as possible and lobby delegates who might favour a certain candidate to select them as their second choice.

The leadership convention will be a virtual affair, with voting to take place online or by telephone from Feb. 1-6 using a preferential ballot. Each of the 55 electoral districts will be worth 100 points, assigned based on vote share. To win, a candidate must receive 2,751 points. The winner will be announced from the Halifax convention centre on Feb. 6.