Politics

NDP says it wants to pay down $7M campaign debt by the end of the year

The NDP has set an ambitious goal of paying down the $7 million of its remaining election debt by the end of the year — so it won't be caught financially flat-footed in the event of a sudden election.

The party says that, with a minority government that could fall any day, it needs to be ready

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh speaks at the start of a two day caucus meeting in Ottawa Jan. 22, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)

The NDP has set an ambitious goal of paying down the $7 million of its remaining election debt by the end of the year — so it won't be caught financially flat-footed in the event of a sudden election.

"It's no secret in the last campaign we had some financial pressures," NDP National Director Anne McGrath said. "We didn't have the money that we needed to run the campaign that we wanted to run."

McGrath said the party borrowed $10 million and spent $11 million during the 2019 campaign. The party has a $7 million balance remaining, she said.

"We want to go into the next campaign with our campaign debt retired and having raised enough money to run a competitive campaign," McGrath said. "And to go toe to toe with the other candidates."

Huffington Post reported in January that the NDP national council voted in December to put off its national convention until 2021. McGrath said Wednesday the party didn't want to incur more debt by hosting a costly event; the NDP heavily subsidizes convention attendee registration and travel, unlike other parties.

Suspending the convention until 2021 delays a membership vote on Singh's leadership planned for the convention — one Singh said Wednesday he welcomes.

"Why I am confident of where I stand is because we ran a campaign that put people first," Singh told reporters. "And we saw a lot of support from the membership and a lot of support from Canadians."

NDP National Director Anne McGrath attends the NDP Federal Council meeting in Ottawa April 6, 2014. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand)

McGrath said she regrets the delay, saying a convention would be an "awesome" way "to build on the momentum of the campaign."

"So, I would love to have it right now, but I think the responsible thing to do in a minority government is to make sure you're ready for the next campaign."

About the Author

David Thurton is a national reporter in CBC's Parliamentary Bureau. He's worked for CBC in Fort McMurray, the Maritimes and in Canada's Arctic.

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