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Bob Rae is on top when it comes to raising cash in the Liberal leadership race, according to an Elections Canada fundraising report.

But the report of donations up to the end of June shows none of the 11 candidates are anywhere near the $3.4-million maximum the party has set for each campaign.

Mr. Rae's $384,795 in donations is the highest, followed by Michael Ignatieff, with $293,896 and Joe Volpe with $210,170.

Mr. Ignatieff, who is perceived by many to be the front-runner, nonetheless comes out ahead in terms of the total number of contributors. Mr. Ignatieff's campaign lists 510 individuals as having offered donations, including the maximum $5,400 from former Ontario premier David Peterson.

Though Liberal MP Stéphane Dion's name has been mentioned increasingly of late as a top-tier candidate, his fundraising numbers are near the bottom of the pack.

Mr. Dion's team has listed 65 donors for a total of $32,250. The two candidates who have so far received less are Liberal MP Maurizio Bevilacqua with nine donations totalling $26,650 and Liberal MP Hedy Fry, with 15 donations totalling $15,150.

Even though his candidate is on top, Rae spokesman Alex Swann said the numbers likely do not account for the main donations because of the end-of-June cut-off.

Mr. Swann said up until that point, most candidates were focused on getting new people to join the party before the July 4 cut-off for new memberships. Fundraising can continue for 18 months after the leadership vote, which is scheduled for Dec. 2, to help offset campaign costs.

Now, Mr. Swann said, the Rae campaign will put more of a focus toward fundraising.

Mr. Rae's list of contributors shows he has the support of some key backers of former prime minister Jean Chrétien. It has previously been disclosed that Mr. Rae received a $100,000 loan from his brother John Rae, who was a key adviser to Mr. Chrétien.

The new list shows Mr. Chrétien's daughter, France Chrétien Desmarais, gave $4,400. Three other members of the powerful Desmarais family also made significant contributions.

The figures listed for this report include the new report of donations since the official start of the campaign, as well as previously declared donations raised before the campaign launch.

Steve McKinnon, the executive director of the Liberal Party, said not all money raised before the end of June has made it into the Elections Canada report. He cautioned that there has been some delay because it takes time for the party to process and verify donations before informing Elections Canada. He said a report coming out later this month will provide a more thorough accounting of fundraising through to the end of July.

Mr. McKinnon played down the fact that none of the candidates appear at risk of approaching the $3.4-million limit.

"That was established before we had 11 candidates," he said, explaining that the party originally set the figure for the possibility of a two- or three-candidate race.

"That would be an entirely different ball game," he said.

Nonetheless, Mr. McKinnon acknowledged that the new fundraising rules banning corporate and union donations have led to a leaner race than in the past.

"Needless to say, the new fundraising rules have had an impact," he said. "The public and the party were saying pretty clearly they wanted a lower-cost campaign. They have those."

The new fundraising rules have made getting donations more of a challenge and leadership hopefuls are using small gatherings of supporters at barbecues and cocktail parties to raise money.

With reports from Daniel Leblanc and Jane Taber

The race to raise cash

A survey of how much money Liberal leadership hopefuls have gathered so far


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