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Donations reveal partisan loyalties in Canada

This week, the National Post released a remarkable new feature on their website that lets you easily see who has given money to provincial and federal political parties in Canada, with data that stretches back decades. Though some of the results are flawed — in particular, people with similar names are often merged into a single “donor,” and in other cases, the same person may be separated into multiple “donors” of the same name (or similar names) — it is overall a tremendous resource that helps easily expose the partisan identities and loyalties of many prominent Canadians.

Here are a few examples.

Note: I have tried to focus on people whose names, when paired with their home province, are unique enough to leave no ambiguity. There is, of course, always chance of coincidence.

Media Figures

David Suzuki is not much of a donor, but supports the Green Party of BC. He gave them $2,150 in 2016. More than a decade earlier, in 2004, he also made a single $1,000 donation to the Liberal Party of Canada.

A Mary Walsh of St. John’s Newfoundland gave $400 to NDP candidate Peg Norman in 2004. She is probably the CBC’s Mary Walsh, aka “Marg Delahunty.”

A Hubert T. Lacroix of Quebec, who is probably the same man as the one currently serving as the Harper-appointed president of the CBC (2008- ), has donated over $10,000 to various political parties over the years, mostly between 2000 and 2006, and mostly to the Liberal Party of Quebec. He gave $2,000 to the Conservatives in 2006 and $226.80 to the Liberals back in 1994. Robert Rabinovitch of Montreal, who served as the CBC’s previous Liberal-appointed president (1999-2007), gave $3,932 to the Liberal Party of Canada between 2008 and 2015.

Konrad W. von Finckenstein of Ottawa, who served as the Harper-appointed head of the CRTC from 2007-2012, gave $699 to Conservative candidate (Ottawa—Orléans) Royal Galipeau in 2006, and then $400 in 2011.

A Heather Mallick of Toronto, who is probably the famous Toronto Star columnist, gave the NDP $1,550 in 2004-2005. In 2006 she donated $344 to Jack Layton specifically, and then in 2007 $335 to the NDP’s Beaches—East York Federal NDP Riding Association. In 2006 she also gave $706.92 to the Liberal Party and an additional $306.92 to the leadership campaign of Martha Hall Findlay.

Provincial Politicians

Christy Clark of Port Moody, the former Liberal premier of BC, gave $1,737.17 to the Liberal Party of Canada between 1994 and 2005. This is only interesting because in BC politics, Christy Clark was sometimes described as being a secret conservative. Her predecessor as Liberal premier, Gordon Campbell, seems to have donated $300 to the Vancouver Quadra Conservative Party Association in 2011, after he resigned. This is quite ironic, since in doing so he was helping fund opposition toVancouver Quadra’s Liberal MP Joyce Murray, who had once served in his cabinet.

The current leader of the BC Liberal Party, the very wealthy Andrew Wilkinson of Vancouver, has given many thousands of dollars to the Liberal Party of Canada over the years.

The current Saskatchewan Party premier of Saskatchewan, Scott Moe of Shellbrook, gave $1,000 to the Prince Albert Conservative Party Association in 2008. Former Saskatchewan Party premier Brad Wall was apparently a supporter of the old Progressive Conservative Party of Canada back in the day; he gave the party $3,095.58 between 1993 and 1995, most of which went to Geoff Wilson, who ran as the PC candidate in 1993 (he lost). In 2010 Wall made a single donation to the Conservative Party Association in the riding of Cypress Hills—Grasslands for $240.

Elizabeth May and Gilles Duceppe

Green Party leader Elizabeth May has pumped over $45,000 of her own money into the Green Party of Canada and the Green Party of BC over the years. Unless there is more than one Gilles Duceppe, the former Bloc Quebecois leader has similarly donated $48,380 since 1993 supporting the Bloc and the Parti Quebecois in Quebec.

Lieutenant Governors

William Thomas Molloy, a Saskatoon lawyer and the man Prime Minister Trudeau recently appointed as lieutenant governor of Saskatchewan, has donated constantly to the Liberal Party of Canada, making a total of $8,551.09 worth of donations since 2014.

An Arthur J. LeBlanc who may or may not be the judge of the same name Prime Minister Trudeau appointed lieutenant governor of Nova Scotia in 2017, gave $2,745.65 to the Liberal Party between 1993 and 1996. LeBlanc joined the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia in 1998 and served until 2017.

Antoinette Perry, the Trudeau-appointed lieutenant governor of Prince Edward Island, gave the Liberals a small donation of $334.77 in 2015. Angelique Bernard, who Trudeau appointed commissioner of the Yukon, made an even smaller donation of $60 to the Liberal candidate for her territory’s sole parliamentary seat, Shirley Adamson, in the 1997 general election.