Today, NDP Leader Trent Wotherspoon gave second reading to the bill he introduced in the Legislature that, if passed, finally change Saskatchewan’s outdated and broken campaign finance laws.
“It’s long past time for the Sask. Party to get with it, and bring these laws up to the same standards that we see in other provinces throughout the country,” Wotherspoon said. “With so many questions around influence, and the Sask. Party’s penchant for taking money from out-of-province companies, it’s important this bill move forward and we fix these broken rules.”
The bill, which has garnered support from unions and the business community, would ban corporate and union contributions to political parties. It would also restrict personal contributions so that only individuals who are residents of Saskatchewan can donate and those donations would be capped at $1275.
Responding to public pressure, on the eve of an election, British Columbia Premier Christy Clark recently committed to creating a non-partisan committee to review its province’s campaign finance laws. This move, once again, leaves Saskatchewan as the last province to take any action towards getting big money out of politics. Wotherspoon noted that, until he recently, the Premier was also the only one to be taking a top-up bonus – funded by party donors – on top of his publicly-paid salary.
“It’s a little rich for the Sask. Party to be so quick to attack Saskatchewan workers with cuts and wage reductions, while they have a leader who inappropriately took half a million dollars in top-up from party donors, from big corporations and out-of-province,” Wotherspoon said. “Continuing that practice is disgraceful and flies in the face of democracy.”