This election campaign is operating under new rules that are supposed to bring more transparency and openness for third-party groups, those advocacy organizations that are advertising in the election but not running candidates.
But while those third parties have to disclose their donors and activities to Elections Canada, it turns out there’s a fairly easy way around it: just run the money through another company first.
Anti-Liberal groups such as Canada Strong and Proud have been running ads attacking Justin Trudeau and his record. Some of the money – $312,450 in all – for those ads has come from the Manning Centre, an organization founded in 2005 by former Reform Party leader Preston Manning.
Where did Mr. Manning and his centre get that money from? They won’t say.
“When it was known that we were going to do some third-party advertising, we talked it up, and there was interest in the donor community to support that,” Troy Lanigan, president of the Manning Centre, told The Globe.
Elections Canada says situations like this are within the bounds of the law.
"[Third parties] have to list the contributor, that’s what the regulations say,” spokeswoman Natasha Gauthier said. “They don’t have to list the contributors’ contributor.”
This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Chris Hannay. It is available exclusively to our digital subscribers. If you’re reading this on the web, subscribers can sign up for the Politics newsletter and more than 20 others on our newsletter signup page. Have any feedback? Let us know what you think.
DAILY TRACKING OF PUBLIC OPINION
- Conservatives: 32 per cent
- Liberals: 32 per cent
- NDP: 19 per cent
- Green: 9 per cent
- Bloc Québécois: 6 per cent
- People’s Party: 1 per cent
Analysis from Nik Nanos: “Conservatives and Liberals remain gripped in a coin-toss election. Neither Trudeau nor Scheer have advantage as preferred PM.”
The survey was conducted by Nanos Research and was sponsored by The Globe and Mail and CTV. 1,200 Canadians were surveyed between Oct. 12 and 15, 2019. The margin of error is 2.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Respondents were asked: “If a federal election were held today, could you please rank your top two current local voting preferences?” A report on the results, questions and methodology for this and all surveys can be found at https://tgam.ca/election-polls.
KNOW THE ISSUES
Politicians are always talking about jobs, but what are they actually promising? We break down the policies about jobs, labour and Employment Insurance. Read some of our past explainers: on taxes, on climate change and on pharmacare.
Today on the campaign trail: the party leaders are converging on Quebec, where polls continue to show a competitive race in the province, which has a history of three- or even four-way vote splits. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer started the day in Saint-Jérôme (before jetting off to Ontario), while both Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh are in and around Montreal. The leaders are making their last-minute pitches to voters, with Mr. Trudeau doing the traditional Liberal call for support if voters don’t want a Conservative government.
About 4.7 million Canadians have already voted at advance polls, Elections Canada says. That’s a 29-per-cent increase over last election. There’s no clear correlation yet, though, between turnout at advance polls and turnout on election day.
After hitting a low in February, home sales in Canada have rebounded and the real-estate markets are especially hot in Vancouver and Toronto. Both the Liberals and Conservatives have made promises during the campaign to make it easier to buy houses.
The Conservatives say that, if elected, they would legislate restrictions to executive payouts for bankrupt companies with underfunded pension plans. The NDP say they would also restrict bonuses and dividends in companies with underfunded pensions, but without the bankruptcy caveat.
Shanaaz Gokool, the former chief executive officer of Dying With Dignity, is suing her former employer for wrongful dismissal and discrimination, alleging that the organization paid her much less than her predecessor and some of the co-workers who reported to her, all of whom were white. The board of the right-to-die organization, which has been influential in shaping Canada’s assisted-dying laws, says Ms. Gokool’s claims are “factually incorrect and misleading.”
And a British family are set to be deported from the United States after crossing – they claim accidentally – the border between British Columbia and Washington state.
Adam Radwanski (The Globe and Mail) on Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s record: “To judge Mr. Trudeau through the rosy lens of 2015, then, is to ignore the real world in which he has been governing. The more confounding question is whether he has taken the opportunities he has actually had to advance his priorities, and whether he has reacted sufficiently to the many unexpected challenges that have arisen. And that leaves voters to consider whether they can live with the sort of modern centrism that Mr. Trudeau has attempted, while being stuck in the middle, even if it’s not quite most people’s ideal.”
Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on whether the Conservatives could win next week’s election: “For the Conservatives, it is almost like an accident. Mr. Scheer’s party hasn’t gained an inch in opinion polls over the course of the campaign. Both he and Mr. Trudeau seem to be facing a none-of-the-above sentiment. But the rising fortunes of the Bloc, and a recent bump for the NDP, have pegged back Mr. Trudeau’s Liberals.”
Rita Trichur (The Globe and Mail) on how Canada can attract foreign business: “For more than a decade, Canada has blown hot and cold on the issue of foreign investment. We need international capital because it is a real engine of economic growth that creates jobs, increases productivity and improves our standard of living. But instead we spend most of our time worrying about losing our economic sovereignty through the hollowing out of corporate Canada. And successive governments have dithered to the point where they’ve made Canada less attractive to foreign investment than other developed countries because of our outdated rules and penchant for regulatory flip-flops in key sectors, including telecom and energy.”
Lawrence Martin (The Globe and Mail) on U.S. President Donald Trump in the Canadian election: “Mr. Scheer has to be careful, as does Mr. Trudeau, on what he says about the U.S. President because he may have to deal with him should he win. But his first order of business is winning, and if that means a repudiation of Trumpism, why would he hesitate, especially if U.S. relations become a bigger issue in the campaign’s final days?”
Marcus Gee (The Globe and Mail) on populism in the election: “Even if no populist voice has emerged in this campaign, the pessimism, cynicism and anxiety that many voters are expressing these days make Canada fertile soil for populism. At least three Canadian premiers – [Doug] Ford, Jason Kenney and François Legault – already show populist tendencies. Populism, in a sense, is already here, and with room to grow.”
Prajakta Dhopade (Maclean’s) on NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s patter: “He breaks out of a high-brow debate mode in his answer quite naturally, using the word ‘man,’ and with that subtle shift, he’s showing that he’s educated and capable yet also someone who understands those around him, says [professor Sali] Tagliamonte. ‘He’s doing that with his language,’ she adds—not just with the words he chooses, but how he says them.”
J.D.M. Stewart (The Globe and Mail) on the prime minister and security threats: “Security for a prime minister today is tight. If it is going well, most observers will not even notice its existence, which is exactly the way the RCMP want it. This is what makes the past weekend’s threat a bit unusual, with the highly visible uniformed officers. A message was being sent. Equally important, while threats in the past were fairly plain to see, a lot of what concerns the RCMP today comes from the dark corners of the internet, making the culprits more difficult to weed out.”
John Milloy (The Globe and Mail) on what happens if there’s no parliamentary majority next week: “I hate to ruin this romantic notion of unbridled cross-party camaraderie, but as someone with first-hand experience managing a minority government, they are far from collegial exercises.”
Don Braid (Calgary Herald) on climate change activist Greta Thunberg going to Alberta: “Well, at least somebody wants to visit Alberta during the election campaign.”
Just five days of campaigning left...