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The influential Desmarais clan behind Quebec’s Power Corp. of Canada has donated $290,000 to federal political parties over the past decade, slightly favouring the Liberals. (Peter Mccabe/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
The influential Desmarais clan behind Quebec’s Power Corp. of Canada has donated $290,000 to federal political parties over the past decade, slightly favouring the Liberals. (Peter Mccabe/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Who Canada’s 10 most generous political donors have contributed to Add to ...

Corporations have been banned from making donations to federal political parties for more than a decade. But that hasn’t stopped some of Canada’s most powerful business families from making hefty personal donations. In total, the 10 most generous political donors have funnelled more than $1.1-million to federal parties since 2004, an analysis of Elections Canada records shows.

Desmarais family – $290,000

To the Liberals: $190,000

To the Conservatives: $100,000

The influential clan behind Quebec’s Power Corp. of Canada has donated $290,000 over the past decade, slightly favouring the Liberals. The total includes donations from patriarch Paul Desmarais, who died in 2013, wife Jacqueline, sons Paul Jr. and André, who now jointly lead the company, along with daughters Louise and Sophie as well as several grandchildren.

Laurent Beaudoin and the Bombardier family – $213,000

To the Liberals: $132,000

To the Conservatives: $81,000

The Quebec family that controls Bombardier Inc. has donated more than $200,000, with the largest share going to the Liberals. Donors include chairman emeritus Laurent Beaudoin, wife Claire Bombardier Beaudoin, son Pierre, who stepped down as CEO this year, along with other relatives who make up the controlling shareholders of Bombardier.

The Aspers – $165,700

To the Liberals: $80,000

To the Conservatives: $77,000

To the Green Party: $6,200

To the NDP: $2,500

Winnipeg’s powerful Asper family has donated more than $130,000: Most was split between the Liberals and the Conservatives, although members of the family have also donated to the Green Party and the NDP. They include all three children of CanWest Global Communications Corp. founder Izzy Asper: daughter Gail, sons Leonard and David, along with their wives.

The Khosrowshahi family – $143,000

To the Liberals: $90,000

To the Conservatives: $53,000

The B.C. family that founded Future Shop Ltd. has donated $143,000; patriarch Hassan Khosrowshahi also sits on the board of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and is a director of the Bank of Canada. The donations also come from his wife, Nezhat, and children Behzad and Golnar.

Bernard and Jacques Lamarre – $99,800

To the Liberals: $70,000

To the Conservatives: $24,000

To the Bloc Québécois: $5,800

The brothers who presided over engineering firm SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. have donated more than $68,000 in the past decade, with almost twice as much going to the Liberals as to the Conservatives. The donations include those from Jacques Lamarre’s wife, Céline Robitaille Lamarre.

Eliott Lifson – $77,600

To the Liberals: $43,000

To the Conservatives: $27,000

To the Bloc Québécois: $4,100

To the NDP: $3,500

Mr. Lifson is the president of the Canadian Apparel Federation, a lobby group, and the vice-president of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. Along with his wife, Carol, the couple has donated more than $77,00 to the Conservatives, Liberals, Bloc Québécois and the NDP.

Leonard Gustafson – $59,000

To the Conservatives: $59,000

The former Saskatchewan senator was appointed to the Privy Council by Stephen Harper in 2008. Along with his wife and children, the family has been one of the Conservative Party’s most generous donors.

Donald K. Johnson – $59,000

To the Conservatives: $38,000

To the Liberals: $21,000

The former president of Burns Fry Ltd., which was acquired by Bank of Montreal, has long argued for the federal government to make it easier for Corporate Canada to give to charity. He has donated $59,000 , including $38,000 to the Conservatives and about $21,000 to the Liberals.

Paul Hill – $51,400

To the Conservatives: $28,000

To the Liberals: $23,000

To the NDP: $400

Mr. Hill is CEO of Saskatchewan’s Hill Companies, whose business interests include real estate, insurance and broadcasting. Along with his wife Carol, the couple have donated more than $50,000 to federal parties, favouring the Conservatives.

Richard Renaud – $42,000

To the Liberals: $25,000

To the Conservatives: $17,000

The Montreal businessman, philanthropist and founder of the Roasters Foundation donated more than $42,000, of which $25,000 went to the Liberals and the rest went to the Conservatives.

For more Globe and Mail analysis on political donations, see Dollars and votes: How fundraising has shaped the federal election campaign.

 

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