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Tories will continue to eschew per-vote subsidy: Pallister

Manitoba Progressive Conservative Party Leader Brian Pallister

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Manitoba Progressive Conservative Party Leader Brian Pallister (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS ARCHIVES)

Manitoba Opposition Leader Brian Pallister says the Progressive Conservatives will continue to refuse any government payment aimed at subsidizing the operating expenses of a political party.

He made the statement a day after the release of a report setting out a new compensation model for Manitoba’s five registered parties.

The report, written by allowance commissioner Paul Thomas, was commissioned by the province last fall after the passage in June of The Election Financing Act.

The Conservatives had refused to accept a $1.25 per-vote subsidy under previous legislation, and today Pallister confirmed they weren’t going to have anything to do with the new subsidy regime, under which they stood to gain $242,712 per year.

"The Progressive Conservative party accepts the challenge of engaging Manitobans to be involved in their political process, while the NDP would rather pad its own coffers with public funds," Pallister said.

The NDP had also eschewed the old $1.25 subsidy, although last spring at its annual general meeting party members blasted the party executive for ignoring a previous resolution calling for it to accept the funds.

Under the new subsidy regime, the NDP stands to receive $278,811 per year. Funding is based on the number of candidates a party endorsed in the last election and the number of votes it received in the last two elections. The cap on administrative funding to all parties is $600,000.

Under the old $1.25 per-vote payment, NDP could have received $250,000, the maximum allowable.

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