Casey looking for level playing field

Jason Malloy
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TRURO Bill Casey hopes changes are made to level the playing field regarding federal election contributions.

TRURO Bill Casey hopes changes are made to level the playing field regarding federal election contributions.

The ousted member of the Conservative caucus lost the power to raise funds like candidates of existing parties when he was expelled for voting against his parties budget.

This isnt about me, it really isnt, the Cumberland Colchester Musquodoboit Valley MP said. To me its about the principle of equality. You cant have four candidates in a riding running on one set of rules and another one running on a different set.

Elections Canada confirmed to the independent MP three specifics changes.

They are:

Party-sponsored candidates can raise tax deductible contributions at any time through their riding associations and issue tax receipts. Independents can only raise tax deductible contributions after the election is called and the candidate confirmed;

Party-sponsored candidates and their riding association can accept contributions of $1,100 per contributor each year, while independents can accept that amount only once each election period;

Party-sponsored candidates must turn over unused campaign funds to their riding association, or to their party and can get these funds back for the next election. An independent must give their surplus funds to the Receiver General of Canada and cannot get them back.

Casey estimated his team raised about $50,000 for the last election. He says he is not raising the issue for his own benefit but feels the rules are unfair heading forward.

In September, he will introduce a private members bill to correct the situation.

Organizations: Cumberland Colchester Musquodoboit Valley MP, Elections Canada

Geographic location: Canada

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