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Kellie Leitch’s Leadership Campaign Paid Rebel Media Tens of Thousands of Dollars, Records Show

Elections Canada records show Kellie Leitch’s Conservative leadership campaign paid alt-right website $56,500

Kellie Leitch paid Ezra Levant’s alt-right Rebel Media tens of thousands of dollars during the Conservative MP’s controversial leadership campaign.

Elections Canada records reviewed by PressProgress show the failed leadership candidate cut Rebel Media five separate cheques worth $11,300 between September 2016 and February 2017 for services labelled “social media.”

In total, the records show Leitch’s campaign paid Rebel Media $56,500.

Kellie Leitch leadership campaign expenses, Elections Canada

Leitch’s office did not respond to a request for comment from PressProgress.

Rebel Media did not disclose its financial relationship with Leitch’s campaign to its audience even though the alt-right website covered Leitch multiple times during the same time period as it was receiving tens of thousands of dollars from her campaign.

Two days before Leitch cut Rebel Media two cheques worth $22,600 in February 2017, Leitch was featured in an exclusive “one-on-one” with Rebel Media “BC Bureau Chief” Christopher Wilson.

Rebel Media

It remains unclear exactly what “social media” services Leitch purchased from the alt-right website for $56,500.

In March 2017, it was reported Leitch’s campaign sent a “sponsored announcement” to Rebel Media’s e-mail list calling for extreme vetting of “every single potential immigrant.”

iPolitics

That month, Leitch also ran full page ads wrapped around Rebel Media articles.

Notably, Leitch’s ads appeared on controversial articles like “10 things I hate about Israel” (originally titled “10 things I hate about Jews”) and “A Nazi take on Israel.”

However, the biggest expenses during Leitch’s campaign were incurred by a pair of companies owned by Leitch’s former campaign manager, Nick Kouvalis.

Elections Canada’s records show Kouvalis’ Campaign Research and Campaign Support received $351,345 between July 2016 and August 2017 from the Leitch campaign, alone amounting to one-quarter of Leitch’s entire $1.3 million worth of campaign expenses.

The records also confirm Leitch continued a financial relationship with Kouvalis even after he tendered his resignation as campaign manager following an emotional late night Twitter dispute that ended with a constitutional scholar being labelled a “cuck” – a slang term popular with the alt-right.

In all, Leitch paid Kouvalis’ companies over $200,000 following his resignation as campaign manager.

Kellie Leitch leadership campaign expenses, Elections Canada

Although Leitch portrayed her leadership campaign as a crusade against Canada’s “elites,” her campaign’s biggest donors included many of Canada’s wealthiest and most powerful people.

A few people who gave Leitch’s failed leadership bid the maximum possible amount include Manulife CEO Donald Guloien, CIBC CEO Victor Dodig, wealthy Tory elite Hal Jackman plus Postmedia CEO turned Ontario PC candidate Rod Phillips.

Records also show Leitch’s anti-elite crusade paid a pair of $1,000 visits to Toronto hairdressers Ernesto Domanico and Dino Tolentino – by all accounts, money well-spent.

 

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PressProgress is an award-winning non-profit news organization focused on uncovering and unpacking the news through original investigative and explanatory journalism.

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