OTTAWA — The Conservatives say they plan to keep half of the money their candidates receive in tax rebates for election expenses in order to leverage $6 million in taxpayer dollars for party coffers.
Sen. Irving Gerstein, chair of the Conservative fund, announced the new “candidate rebate-sharing program” at the party’s policy convention in Halifax.
The fund will retain 50 per cent of the rebate that candidates can receive on 60 per cent of their election expenses, provided they earn at least 10 per cent of the vote in their ridings.
Under the current system, any money received through the rebate program stays with individual riding associations.
Gerstein says the elimination of the per-vote subsidy program means the fund can no longer raise enough revenue from government sources in order to qualify for a $6-million GST rebate.
That’s why the party will start keeping a share of the tax rebates so it can qualify for $6 million in tax funding — a rebate Gerstein says other parties are already receiving.
The Conservative fund is not suffering for cash. Gerstein reports the party has $8.5 million in the bank, while riding associations currently have a total of $23 million.
The Canadian Press