The 5 most generous postal codes for political donations

Top spenders in Penticton, Ottawa, Toronto, Niagara-on-the-Lake and Lakefield, Ont.

Canadian politicians inundate us with election ads, pamphlets and lawn signs. For that, we can thank the more than 500,000 voters who open their wallets to donate to political parties. Here, Maclean’s examines the five postal codes that have given the most to federal politicians. (The results include individual donations of $200 or more between 2007-10, excluding the most recent federal election in May 2011.)

1. V2A 5C5 (Penticton, B.C.): $210,857
Canada’s most generous postal code leads to an address on Main Street in Penticton, but in reality comes from a single donation to the New Democrats by the estate of a long-time supporter. Ruth Millicent Hass, who lived in nearby Kaleden, B.C., died at age 89 in April 2010 and bequeathed the single largest donation to any political party in at least 15 years. The riding is represented by Conservative Dan Albas.

2. K1A 0A6 (Ottawa): $136,064
Not surprisingly, this is the postal code for Parliament Hill, and the majority of the money raised came from MPs themselves. New Democrats donated the most—$106,000—to their own campaigns using their Parliament Hill address (which is represented by their own Paul Dewar), with Liberals kicking in $23,000 and Conservatives just $6,500.

3. M5K 1J7 (Toronto): $76,200
This postal code is for a Bay Street office tower in downtown Toronto that houses the headquarters of accounting firm Ernst & Young. All of the donations went to the Liberals and came from current and past employees of the company, primarily in 2008. Nonetheless, the NDP’s Olivia Chow represents the riding.

4. L0S 1J0 (Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.) $62,860
The upscale retirement community in southwestern Ontario was among the most generous political donors. Residents here gave $40,000 to the Conservatives, $17,000 to the Liberals and $2,700 to the NDP. Their cash clearly helped: the town elected long-time Conservative MP and current Justice Minister Rob Nicholson.

5. K0L 2H0 (Lakefield, Ont.): $61,495
The tiny summer cottage community of Lakefield, in the Kawartha Lakes, houses Lakefield College, the exclusive private school that has educated the likes of Prince Andrew. Donors here gave $35,000 to the Liberals and $21,000 to the Conservatives. Despite the disparity in cash support, the riding has elected Conservative Dean Del Mastro three times.

Source: Elections Canada

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