Sask Party boss points to corporate donors to explain party’s 2019 fundraising numbers
What is the Saskatchewan Party’s secret weapon? According to the party’s executive director: millions of dollars in corporate donations.
According to CBC News, Sask Party Executive Director Patrick Bundrock offered a simple explanation for the governing party’s fundraising successes:
“Many in the business community, like many other Saskatchewan people, believe the Saskatchewan Party is the best choice to lead our province’s economic recovery from the pandemic. As a result, many of those individuals and businesses have chosen to support the Saskatchewan Party financially.”
Sask Party is the main beneficiary of unlimited corporate donations: According to a calculation by CBC News, the Sask Party collected 96% of all corporate donations in Saskatchewan in 2019.
The Sask Party reported $1.2 million last year from 966 corporate donors, whereas the opposition Saskatchewan NDP reported just over $50,000 from 59 corporate donors.
Saskatchewan has been called the “Wild West” of campaign finance laws: Saskatchewan is one of only two provinces in Canada that still allows unlimited corporate donations — and that’s earned the province the reputation as the “Wild West” of campaign finance laws.
Experts say that allows big business to buy influence over democracy.
“Business corporations are licensed by law to conduct particular enterprises for the benefit of their investors,” noted a 2012 report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. “The only legal reason for their executives to give away the shareholders’ money is that the gift will advance their business.”
One-fifth of Sask Party corporate donations came from out-of-province: One detail that wasn’t included in CBC News’ report is that a sizeable chunk of the Sask Party’s corporate donations came from other provinces.
As PressProgress reported previously, nearly 20% of all corporate donations to the Sask Party in 2019 came from out-of-province, including tens of thousands of dollars from Alberta-based oil and gas companies.
Correction: This story initially indicated Saskatchewan is one of three provinces that still allow unlimited corporate donations. In fact, only two provinces still allow unlimited corporate donations. While Newfoundland still allows unlimited corporate donations, PEI banned the practice in 2018.