Conservatives to campaign against party subsidies

PMO wants to put $30 million program on the chopping block

Officials inside the Prime Minister’s Office have confirmed to The Hill Times the Conservatives plan to make cancelling government subsidies to political parties a key plank in their election platform. Though it’s not clear whether the federal Conservatives would push ahead with a substitute for the $30 million in party funding paid out by Ottawa, PMO spokesperson Dmitri Soudas did say his party planned to seek voters’ approval of a plan to shutter the program. According to Tom Flanagan, a former top adviser to Stephen Harper, the Tories aren’t likely to push ahead without at least considering additional changes that would prevent rival parties from wilting under the financial blow. “The media would beat you up for deliberately bankrupting your competition and I think the blowback from that would be pretty intense,” Flanagan said, “so if they are going to do it, they have to find some practical way of replacing at least a substantial portion of the lost revenue.”

Hill Times

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