PEI

Banning corporate political donations slips off the P.E.I. table

P.E.I. Premier Wade MacLauchlan is backtracking on a commitment to eliminate corporate political donations in the province.

P.E.I. premier said in the spring corporate donations were on the way out

Donations will still be capped, says MacLauchlan. (Kerry Campbell/CBC)

P.E.I. Premier Wade MacLauchlan is backtracking on a commitment to eliminate corporate political donations in the province.

There may be room for some reflection.- Premier Wade MacLauchlan

In the spring, MacLauchlan said his government would bring in new rules that would mirror federal rules that prohibit political donations from unions and corporations.

But Tuesday MacLauchlan said he is reconsidering his position. He said it is a common practice for Islanders to support causes, including political parties, by making donations through small firms or partnerships. That practice, he said, has led him to re-evaluate his previous commitment.

"While we intend to continue with the commitment to cap political donations for individuals and for companies and unions, there may be room for some reflection on whether it makes sense, in the P.E.I. context, to completely eliminate those donations," said MacLauchlan.

'Corporations do not vote'

Green Party Leader Peter Bevan-Baker has been pushing for election finance reform, and expressed his disappointment with the change of heart.

"Politics is not about corporations, politics is about people and we govern for people, everything we do is about people," said Bevan-Baker.

Politics is about people, not corporations, says Bevan-Baker. (Sarah MacMillan/CBC)

"Corporations do not vote. Corporations should not have a hand in decision-making that occurs here in the province."

It is expected that a letter will be sent to the other two party leaders today outlining more of the details of the reform.

MacLauchlan said the new rules will come into effect Jan. 1, 2018.

With files from Natalia Goodwin

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