PEI

P.E.I. to restrict political donations

There are new rules on the way for political donations on Prince Edward Island. Premier Wade MacLauchlan outlined the new rules Wednesday in the Legislature.

Corporate and union donations will be out, limits placed on personal donations

Premier Wade MacLauchlan will introduce a bill to make changes to the process of making a political donation on P.E.I. (CBC)

There are new rules on the way for political donations on Prince Edward Island.

Premier Wade MacLauchlan outlined the new rules Wednesday in the legislature.

Those rules include putting an end to political donations from corporations and unions.

It will also limit personal donations to $3,000. A maximum of $1,500 can be donated to political parties and the same amount can be donated to district associations.

P.E.I. Premier Wade MacLauchlan says there will be a consultation process on changes to the political donation process. (CBC)
"What we put forward today is that there will be a bill introduced in the fall. There will be a consultation process and a process of study over the course of the summer," said MacLauchlan.

The premier plans to table legislation in the fall sitting of the legislature to bring the issue of political donations in line with federal rules and those in other provinces.

No limits on donations now

P.E.I. currently has no limits on the size of political donations or who can make them.

Green Party Leader Peter Bevan-Baker has asked for a per-vote subsidy funding for P.E.I. political parties. (CBC)
The P.E.I. Green Party has been pushing for election finance reform for years. In an email to CBC, Green Party leader Peter Bevan-Baker said the proposed changes were a big step forward, and would offer protection, where there was none previously, of democracy from moneyed interests.

"I would like P.E.I. to go further and bring in per-vote subsidy funding for parties rather than using public funds in the form of tax receipts to individuals. This is a big improvement though on our spectacularly loose current regulations," said Bevan-Baker.

"Money has the potential to distort and pervert politics, and especially in a tiny jurisdiction like ours, we are particularly vulnerable. Glad that some massive gaping holes through which democracy on P.E.I. could have fallen, have been filled in."

MacLauchlan said the per-vote subsidy funding for parties will be one of the issues that will be discussed.

With files from Kerry Campbell

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