Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is ending the controversial practice of cash-for-access fundraising – that’s according to the Globe and Mail newspaper.
The Globe’s Robert Fife and Steven Chase are reporting a senior government official says Trudeau will instruct Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould to prepare legislation, that would effectively ban elite fundraisers for Cabinet ministers that are usually held in private homes.
The legislation will apply to other federal party leaders, and will include 3 specific measures to address criticism that the Liberal Party has been offering privileged access to wealthy donors.
All fundraisers must be conducted in publicly accessible spaces rather than private homes or clubs.
These fundraisers must be publicly advertised in advance.
And a public report on each individual fundraiser must be released in a timely manner, including how many people attended and how much money was raised.
The federal government will also commit to allowing the media to cover all of its fundraisers.
The new measures will not apply to backbench MP’s.
“There isn’t special deals or special treatment”
But just a month ago – Trudeau told CKNW’s Lynda Steele that stopping cash for access would result in a non-functional political system.
He said there was total accountability and transparency.
Trudeau: “There isn’t special deals or special treatment. We’re following all the rules.”
Lynda: “But you know what, Canadians don’t care if you’re following the rules, they don’t like it. They think that this is distasteful, they want it to stop. Why don’t you just stop it?”
Trudeau: “The fact is we have a Federal fundraising system with very strong rules compared to other provinces that don’t have those.”
When asked about the possibility of setting a limit he said “all sorts of discussion can be had around it and those discussions are ongoing right now.”
Will Clark follow suit?
The same issue has been controversial for BC Premier Christy Clark, who called it an “interesting idea.”
At a public event in West Kelowna this morning, she was asked if she would ban behind the scenes fundraisers after a private fundraiser last night at the Mission Hill Winery.
Reporter: “Last night it seemed like there were extra efforts being made to keep the identities of the visitors to Mission Hill private.”
Clark: “You’ll see in the number of weeks exactly who was there and who donated and that’s the point of real-time reporting.”
Last year, some events brought in as much as $20,000 per head.
And in recent months, Clark has been criticized for hosting private fundraisers with ticket prices of $5000 or $10,000.
Clark has repeatedly accused the Opposition, saying the BC NDP would rather use taxpayer money to finance political parties
Trudeau’s move does not call for public funding, rather it simply will ban private fundraising by the Prime Minster, the federal Cabinet, and other federal leaders.
With files from Emily Lazatin