Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets supporters at a Liberal party fundraiser in Montreal, on May 4, 2017.

Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave a quick speech lauding his government's new policy on how the Liberals raise money during his first fundraiser since the party put the new rules in place.

Attendees paid up to $250 to hear the Prime Minister speak for 10 minutes and get a photo with him in a lobby of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

To fend off accusations the party was providing preferential access to Trudeau and his cabinet in exchange for dollars from wealthy donors in private homes, the party introduced a new policy it says makes raising cash more transparent.

Story continues below advertisement

"I am very happy to see members of the press this evening," Trudeau said early in his remarks, which drew subdued applause from the roughly 300-person crowd.

"We are very happy to see (journalists) among us and thank you very much for being here," he said, looking at reporters and raising his hands to give a conspicuous, single clap.

The new system involves holding fundraisers featuring Trudeau or ministers only in public places, announcing them in advance, allowing the media to attend and disclosing the guest list within the following 45 days.

Thursday's event in Montreal was not the first of its kind under the new rules. Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr attended a fundraiser in Calgary at the end of April.

"We are the first to adopt this practice," Trudeau said, adding "we hope the other parties will quickly do the same thing in the spirit of openness and trust with Canadians."

Roughly 30 minutes before he took the stage, the Conservative party did some fundraising of its own.

In an email sent to supporters, Stephen McCreary, director of digital operations for the party, said "the Liberals' cash-for-access fundraising scheme is back."

Story continues below advertisement

"They'll say their fundraisers are open to the 'public,' but the cost of admission ranges from $250 to $1,500 a head — just like before."

The email also boasted the party collected almost twice as much money as the Liberals have in the first three months of the year.

Liberal party spokesman Braeden Caley said there was "a pause" on national fundraising events throughout the first quarter while the new standards for open and transparent fundraising events were being prepared.

Some Liberals are pointing to that as one reason for lacklustre fundraising figures in the first three months of this year, when the Conservatives raised nearly twice as much money from a larger pool of contributors, even though they are in the midst of a leadership race that ought to be siphoning would-be donations to the party.

"There's a small connection," spokesman Braeden Caley said when asked whether the lower profile played a role.

There were registered lobbyists who signed up and paid to attend Thursday's fundraiser, but the Liberal party said they were removed from the guest list.

Story continues below advertisement

"Individuals who were registered to lobby the special guest were informed they would not be able to attend this event, in line with the party's commitment regarding such checks in advance of ticketed fundraising events," Caley wrote in an email Thursday.

Caley confirmed fewer than five individuals who were registered to lobby the PMO had bought tickets.

"No other party has made a similar (fundraising) commitment and we challenge them to do so," Caley said.

Soon, they might not have a choice.

The Liberal government promised legislation that would require similar disclosure for events involving party leaders and leadership candidates.

"It's always possible to raise the bar and we will continue to work hard to make the government more transparent," Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould said Thursday during question period.

Story continues below advertisement

John O'Leary, her spokesman, said the government aims to introduce the legislation this spring.

One Liberal source said the legislation will be essentially the same as the measures the party brought in, which would prevent the party having to once again change the way they are doing things.

One significant difference, according to two Liberal sources, will likely be the lack of a requirement to open the events up to the media.

The Conservatives and New Democrats say they do not plan on taking any lessons from the Liberals.

"The reality is they weren't able to follow their own set of rules the first time," said Conservative MP Blaine Calkins.

New Democrat MP Nathan Cullen said his skepticism stems from the fact the Liberals deserted their promise to change how Canadians vote. "I have very, very low trust with this government when it comes to democratic reform."

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies