Alberta Politics
Alberta Opposition Leader and former premier Rachel Notley (Photo: Rachel Notley/Facebook).

Rachel Notley’s NDP raises more cash than Jason Kenney’s UCP for third consecutive quarter

Posted on November 02, 2021, 1:28 am
6 mins

Alberta’s Opposition New Democratic Party led the United Conservative Party in fund-raising for the third consecutive quarter of 2021, although not by the dramatic margins seen in the first two quarters.

This leaves Rachel Notley’s NDP far in the lead for year-to-date contributions from Albertans, but it contains a warning for the party’s supporters too. 

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney (Photo: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr).

To wit, you can’t discount the effectiveness of the Conservative fund-raising machine, even in desperate times like these for the party and its unpopular leader, Premier Jason Kenney. 

This is all the more true since the UCP has no shortage of deep-pocketed donors who can afford to fork over large donations. 

Only about 17 per cent of the cash raised by the right-wing governing party came from small donors who gave less than $250, according to figures released yesterday by Elections Alberta. Close to 40 per cent of the NDP’s funds came from the same kind of small donors. 

Still, the NDP raised $1,367,080.50 in the third quarter, while the UCP raised $1,235,482.45.

That was down a little from the NDP’s second-quarter contributions, which exceeded $1.5 million, compared to $771,000 for the UCP in the second quarter, which may have reflected confidence by NDP supporters because of their party’s strong polling and fundraising to date. 

Certainly its much-stronger fundraising performance in the first two quarters left the NDP far ahead of the UCP for political donations through the year to date: $4,060,290.40 to $2,596,202.81.

This is one story you can’t really blame mainstream media for treating as if it were a horserace. Donations to other parties illustrate that, if it actually were a horserace, only two horses would be in the running.

The Pro-Life Alberta Political Association – a “party” drummed up by anti-reproductive-rights activists so they can give tax receipts for donations they receive to pay for political activities – raised $92.560.92 in the third quarter, giving them the right to claim a distant third place in the race. 

The Western Independence Party, mockingly dismissed by some as the Bloc Redneckois, raised $53,839.93 in the quarter. The Alberta Party – the little party that for some reason never seemed to grow no matter which political philosophy it tried out – raised an underwhelming $31,614.54. That was still better than the once-almost-mighty Alberta Liberal Party’s third-quarter contributions of $13,930.54. 

No other political party managed to raise sums in five figures in the quarter. 

The Independence Party of Alberta collected $1,740; the Green Party of Alberta, $1,314; and the Alberta Advantage Party, $300.

Several small parties that are clearly moribund or exist only on paper collected no contributions at all in the quarter. 

Minister named in ‘poisoned work environment’ allegations shrugs off media questions

One of the individuals at the centre of the “poisoned work environment” crisis engulfing the UCP Government – Agriculture Minister Devin Dreeshen – shrugged off media questions about allegations he yelled at a female staffer when he was drunk in his office at the Alberta Legislative Building. 

Alberta Agriculture Minister Devin Dreeshen facing questions about his drinking yesterday (Photo: Janet French/Twitter).

The allegations were made in a statement of claim by former political staffer Ariella Kimmel, who is seeking $399,000 in lost wages and damages after she was fired last February after complaining about sexual harassment in a workplace where open drinking and abusive behaviour were tolerated.

Braced by reporters yesterday about Ms. Kimmel’s statements, Mr. Dreeshen told CBC reporter Janet French he doesn’t have a drinking problem. He also said, “there’s a social aspect to politics, where I think people do sit down and talk about politics over a drink. Something that’s happened for a long time. I obviously didn’t invent it.”

“With my behaviour, there are long, hard days in the Legislature and I think that’s something that everybody has had to deal with.”

Apparently, though, a lot of Albertans were not impressed by the thirtysomething Mr. Dreeshen’s tone deaf defences, which prompted an extremely harsh response on social media. 

Whether that will affect his trusted position in the Kenney Government, however, remains to be seen. 

Meanwhile, in British Columbia, a candidate to lead the province’s Opposition Liberal Party fired a staffer who was accused of verbally harassing another candidate’s campaign manager last week.

Candidate Kevin Falcon, a former provincial cabinet minister, apologized to the victim of the profane outburst and, after speaking with the staffer, told media yesterday he had “ended the relationship between him and my campaign team.”

18 Comments to: Rachel Notley’s NDP raises more cash than Jason Kenney’s UCP for third consecutive quarter

  1. Dave

    November 2nd, 2021

    While I find the fundraising horse race interesting, I have never been one to believe fundraising is one of the most important measures in politics. However, it can be confirmatory, if you are behind in the polls and also behind in fundraising, it sure makes the hurdle higher.

    Once a party of strong grassroots donors, the UCP seems to be falling into the old PC trap of relying increasingly on larger donors and perhaps becoming beholden to them, with all the conflicts that can potentially arise. In the end, the PC’s fundraising fire power did not save them. It may have even hurt them, as it allowed them to become more out of touch and only focused more on certain interests.

    Mr. Dreeshen probably doesn’t want to elaborate, but I would like clarification. Does his not having a drinking problem, mean he had one and has now dealt with it, or is this a denial it was ever a problem? It seems excessive alcohol use has effected both his work and personal interactions. So he might want to think about what that means before he dismisses it as something normal in the job.

    However, if Mr. Dreeshen hasn’t had to face the consequences yet it is also partly due to those around him who enable and put up with with it. Kenney came into power as someone who was supposed to bring discipline to his caucus. Instead he seems to allow them to run amok, time and time again.

  2. Just Me

    November 2nd, 2021

    It’s interesting to see Dreesen take a completely different tack, doubling down and posing the question… what’s wrong with drinking on the job?

    Most of us, I’m sure, do our best work while completely smashed. I, like many, do my best work on the toilet. Releasing all that built up tension from my entrails always gives me purpose to go on and on.

    I’m surprised Dreesen didn’t go further and declare office romances are the best anyone can ever have. Maybe Mad Men had the right idea after all. And what lady can resist John Ham? Verily I say that tall drink of water is an oasis in a COVID desert.

  3. tom

    November 2nd, 2021

    Two words explain the UCP’s better (but still not quite good enough) funding raising this quarter: Calgary Stampede–or is it Covid Stampede?

    • Hana Razga

      November 2nd, 2021

      I saw a thought expressed that the UCP fundraising bump in 3Q was probably for July and August and possibly dropped down as the 4th wave began to ravage Alberta. It would be interesting to see the monthly breakdown of the 3Q.

  4. A little bird

    November 2nd, 2021

    Breaking oil millionaires still believe they should have an outsize influence in alberta politics.

    If dreeshan was sitting for any other riding I’m sure he’d be a little less arrogant and a little less employed.

    Classic fail son. We’re surprised the MAGA kid is getting pissed up and yelling at staffers ?

    • Just Me

      November 2nd, 2021

      Reminds me very much of the late, great Christopher Hitchens, who had a reputation for having (small) two whiskeys for breakfast and delighted in glasses of lovely Shiraz or Merlot through lunch, dinner, and well into his evenings. And it was often demonstrated that Hitchens was often his best, most articulate, scorchingly acerbic, and funniest when he was three-sheets-in-the-wind. Well known and regarded figures in history, the likes of Winston Churchill and Gen. U. S. Grant were notorious for never having a sober moment, yet, still managed to get great things done.

      Now, I cannot say if Dreesen would ever make the claim of including himself in such august and inebriated company, but I’d like to see him try.

  5. Lulymay

    November 2nd, 2021

    I can’t remember how I came across this information, but to me it is still relevant, given the person of which we speak.

    Looking at some of the donations to Jason when he last ran in a federal election, I came across something I found quite interesting: 3 typewritten 8-1/2 x 11 pages of donations, all in some odd amount of e.g. $800.31 each and all with names easily recognized as being of Chinese extraction and living in one region in Ontario. Hmmm, said me to myself. I’m guessing that their employer has already donated his/her limit and so has enticed or ??? their employees to put their names on this list. No doubt they were also able to deduct this as a “donation”.

    While I doubt that he is the only candidate that has benefitted from this kind of “donation” nor is the party he represented (what was their name again? it seems to keep changing) carrying out the same practice, but it still seems rather shallow and somewhat shady to me, no matter what the tax folks think.

    Looking at your current figures with respect to donations each party has received to date, I look at them and it tells me if the NDP has received much more in donations, and those donations have come from a larger number of individuals, then shouldn’t that translate into a much larger number of people who will vote for the NDP as opposed to the number of corporations (non-voting entities) no matter what the dollar value is?

    Or, perhaps I just have a more simplistic way of analyzing all this info, given that I am merely a one woman, one vote person trying to make sense out of this quagmire commonly referred to as politics?

    • A little bird

      November 3rd, 2021

      It might not be illegal, but that sure is interesting, isn’t it.

      I’d wager someone digging into that nugget you’ve uncovered would be doing the folks who live in this province a great service.

  6. Mike J Danysh

    November 2nd, 2021

    I think the UCP’s epic fail in contribution rates mostly resulted from the War on Doctors. Many Alberta doctors are 1) rich and 2) former members of the Old Tory Boys’ Club. This source of funding would have dried up like the Mojave Desert during the bitter fighting with Kenney’s UCP “we-hate-government-spending” campaign.

    However, as DJC points out, there are many other businessmen and the businesses they control which are willing to support “their guy” Jason Kenney. It’s the classic Oilberduh pattern. Calgary’s upper crust pick some schmuck to do their bidding, pay his way into the Premier’s office (might take two elections, but hey…) and the schmuck does what they tell him. (Supporting evidence used to be found on the blog of Scott Harold Payne, but he’s apparently deactivated it.)

    Now, with Kenney utterly destroying his own and the UCP’s credibility, with Notley surging in popularity (“Anyone but Kenney!”), the Con masters are getting worried. They know they’ll have to buy another election soon, so they’re pumping up their chosen party’s bank balance.

    It’ll be interesting to see if the king-makers decide to prop Kenney up a bit longer, or instead cut their losses (and Kenney at the knees) and replace the UCP figurehead. One more disaster might be the end of Jason, even before the spring leadership review.

  7. Anonymous

    November 2nd, 2021

    The UCP seem to be fractured, and sputtering out. They are not going to last much longer, at this rate.

  8. Bret Larson

    November 2nd, 2021

    I guess its a case of “give unto Caeser”.

    Statistics Canada in an October 18 account of selected average food prices said annual price increases nationwide ranged up to 17% for oranges, 21% for apples, 22% for bacon, 28% for chicken, 29% for pork ribs and 42% for butter.

    But, I guess if you dont eat inflation is only 5%?

    Nothing to see here though, somehow the government in Ottawa, you know the one the NDP are keeping in power, will make sure inflation will be under 2% in a year.

    I guess thats much like the provincial NDP’s pledge to balance the budget by 2018.

    • Anonymous

      November 3rd, 2021

      BRET LARSON: 2014 was when we were witnessing a very major oil price collapse. Prior to this we had pretend conservatives and Reformers in Alberta being very fiscally irresponsible. They also never looked after the essential services in Alberta very well. What they did was ruin Peter Lougheed’s legacy. You expect the budget to be balanced very easily? Actually, the UCP had the notion that they would balance the budget, by 2023. The UCP have actually given Alberta a far bigger debt, and it is a doozy, far past 90 he $100 billion mark.

      • Bret Larson

        November 3rd, 2021

        Thanks for bringing that up.

        Its clear the last two PC governments were voted in by the current NDP vote. And they spent like it too.

        Government spending is what progressives want to do, and it will collapse the finances of a large section of the Canada public once inflation gets out of hand.

        Which is why small government is better.

        • e.a.f.

          November 7th, 2021

          ah I love it when people talk about small government being a good thing. My question always is the same: What services do you want to cut?

          Health care? that usually means more deaths, pain, suicides and medical staff leaving.

          Highways and infrastructure? No snow plows on the highways this winter saves a lot of money, but the accidents, the deaths, etc.

          Education? its only kids who are impacted and the well to do can send their kids out of province or pay privately for it but you frequently wind up with your future leaving the province for education and not coming back. Lack of schools also contributes to people leaving the province.

          Yes, small government is a great thing, for those who don’t need its services.

    • A little bird

      November 5th, 2021

      Inflation comes from a surplus of cash in the economy, hoarded by the rich in this case. You need more and more dollars to push into the economy because the rich can never spend what they have.

      Taxation removes this cash from the economy. The NDP wants to raise taxes on billionaires, which would be a solution for this problem.

      Acting like politics boils down to which team you like more is exactly how we fish all got in this barrel they keep shooting into.

  9. tom in ontario

    November 2nd, 2021

    “I, like many, do my best work on the toilet.”
    Just Me, you’ve let the cat out of the bag. Suppose Jason and the UCP get wind of your revelation through Alberta Politics and schedule cabinet meetings in the communal mens’ room deep in the bowels of the Saddledome. Between grunts and flushes they might come up with governing ideas not attainable during boozefests on hotel balconies. You could be awarded the Thomas Crapper Medal of Discovery.

  10. Former Albertan

    November 2nd, 2021

    Two things come to mind here. First Mr. Dreeshan ought to look up the CAGE test on google, 4 quick questions to determine how likely it is he has problem with alcohol. The second is that alcohol is not a good de-stressor in any case. Drinking at work, sorry most places refer you to employee health don’t they? Or discipline you? If they are unsophisticated.

    As to Mr. Kenney’s role in these matters, I think he was shoveling and telling people to shut up. Once again I have to ask what does he have on others? And is what he is doing ethical?

    All together a sorry spectacle regardless of your political cant.


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