PEI

Political party financing bill may ban corporate and union donations

Premier Wade MacLauchlan has announced his Liberal party will introduce a bill looking at political party financing and hints he may want to follow the federal rules that ban corporate or union donations to political parties.

'These are very often the companies that receive government contracts,' says Green Party Leader

Green Party leader Peter Bevan-Baker tried to push for details on an expected bill on political party financing. (Province of Prince Edward Island )

Premier Wade MacLauchlan has announced his Liberal Party will introduce a bill looking at political party financing and hints he may want to follow the federal rules that ban corporate or union donations to political parties.

In the legislature on Wednesday, Green Party leader Peter Bevan-Baker tried to push for details while revealing some of his own.

Bevan-Baker said in 2014, a non-election year, the Liberal Party of Prince Edward Island received 54 per cent of its $522,000 in donations from businesses. He also said the Progressive Conservative party received 58 per cent of their $286,000 in donations from businesses.

"These are very often the companies that receive government contracts," Bevan-Baker said.

MacLauchlan said the bill would be introduced during this current session of the legislature and expected it would be discussed into the fall session.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau suggested earlier this month that provinces should stop allowing corporations and unions to donate to political parties.

Federal parties have operated under those rules since 2006.

Trudeau told reporters it was time for provinces to "shift their behaviour in a positive way" and allow only individuals to donate to political parties.

MacLauchlan said that was one of the questions that the bill will consider.

When Bevan-Baker asked directly if he would be ending corporate or union donations to political parties, MacLauchlan repeated the bill would be tabled soon, but didn't say no.

"The federal regime is one that we should be giving close consideration to," he said.

"One of the questions that will be considered, in fact it's one that comes to the fore when considering legislation of this type is who should be eligible to make political contributions."

With files from Angela Walker

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