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Nystrom wants answers about Martin's
 leadership campaign financing

OTTAWA - (Web posted April 11, 2002 @ 5:30 p.m.) - New Democrat MP Lorne Nystrom says there should be openness in political leadership campaign financing in Canada, and he wants Finance Minister Paul Martin to lead the way.

Finance MInister Paul Martin (c) PoliticsWatch"Paul Martin could set an example by doing this voluntarily," said Nystrom, the member of Parliament for Regina-Qu'Appelle. 

On Wednesday, it was announced a $25,000 contribution to Martin's unofficial Liberal leadership campaign was going to be sent back to the donor.

The incident has raised howls of protest from the Opposition benches because the money was raised by Calgary lawyer Jim Palmer, who was working for the Department of Finance when the donation was collected.

On Thursday, Nystrom said Ottawa should follow a recommendation the Chief Electoral Officer made late last year that rules which apply to candidates in a general election campaign should also apply to candidates in a leadership campaign.

If that were to occur, political leadership hopefuls would be forced to disclose all of their major financial backers.

Nystrom also said Canadians deserve toNDP MP Lorne Nystrom (c) PoliticsWatch know how long, potential leadership candidates, such as Martin, have been fund-raising and where they're keeping their money.

"My question is what else is there? "What else is in the accounts? How many accounts exist?" asked Nystrom.

"We need full transparency of all monies that are raised for political purposes in this country."

Several backbench Liberal MPs, such as Carolyn Bennett and Joe Volpe, have said they want  transparency in leadership campaign financing.

New Brunswick Liberal MP Dominic LeBlanc added his voice to that cause too. However, he would not offer any method as to how that transparency could be achieved.

"The problem is there's a bit of a legislative vacuum.... with respect to nomination campaigns... or to become the leader of a party," said LeBlanc after Wednesday's Question Period.

"I think that we have to make those processes, nomination campaigns just in local ridings, and leadership campaigns for all parties, have to be transparent and reasonable."

In the meantime, Nystrom is doubtful there will be campaign finance reform in time for the next federal election.

"They're not going to address it," he said. "They have a leadership campaign coming, and they're going to raise millions of dollars from corporations, and they don't want Canadian people to know who is paying the piper."

 

Read this related PoliticsWatch story
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CA questions Martin about campaign financing
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Backbench Grits want "transparency" in leadership campaign financing
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Leadership financing: Does the public have a right to know?


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