VANCOUVER — The Terry Fox Foundation appears to be distancing itself from an announcement Sunday by federal Industry Minister James Moore that the government will match donations raised by the charity named after one of Canada’s most revered heroes.
At an event in Port Moody, B.C., Moore said a re-elected Conservative government would commit up to $35 million to match donations raised during this year’s Terry Fox Run. The Conservative announcement coincided with the 35th annual Terry Fox Run, which this year aims to fundraise $35 million — one dollar for every Canadian.
“It would be nice if the other political parties would all double down on our commitment and stand with the legacy of Terry Fox and say regardless of what happens on Oct. 19 that they will recognize Terry Fox as a hero and will move forward,” said Moore.
“But it’s a commitment that will for sure be met by Stephen Harper should he be elected.”
Britt Andersen of the Terry Fox Foundation has issued a statement noting that the foundation is “non-partisan.”
“The foundation welcomes new investment commitments in cancer research from any and all political parties,” Andersen said.
No one from Fox’s family was present for Moore’s announcement.
Conservative Leader Stephen Harper’s wife, Laureen Harper, was on hand for the announcement, and spoke of taking part in the five-kilometre Terry Fox Run with Vancouver-area Tory MP John Weston.
She was introduced by the region’s Conservative candidate, Tim Laidler. Laidler is aiming to wrest control of the hotly contested riding of Port Moody-Coquitlam from NDP incumbent Fin Donnelly, who won the seat last election by a couple thousand votes.
The Conservatives insist the pledge to match donations doesn’t cross the line by leveraging Fox’s popularity.