Robert Falcon-Ouellette

Your member of parliament for


Winnipeg Centre

Robert Falcon-Ouellette

Your member of parliament for


Winnipeg Centre

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Editorial on Political Fundraising

To the People of Winnipeg Centre,

Political fundraising is a delicate issue and fundamentally comes down to questions of honesty. Many people might feel in their day-to-day lives that the financing of political parties has no impact or importance, but we should all understand the importance of politics, because politics is about deciding the allocation of society’s resources. Society is not equal; there are those with more power and wealth and those with less. From my short time in politics I can tell you we are not all equal. For instance, large and small corporations, unions, associations and NGOs pay handsomely to lobbyists to arrange meetings with Ministers and MPs from all political parties to advocate an idea or project. One needs knowledge of this structure of the political class in order to use it effectively. I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about who I will be meeting with and what type of message that might send to the people of Winnipeg Centre. I tend to skip the lobbyists (unless I can send a message to a large group about what I think they should be doing) and instead focus on smaller groups and individual citizens.

All political parties fundraise. We fundraise to get ready for the next election where we can communicate with constituents about our platform and why those ideas are best for our community and country. Personally, I ran in the mayoral and federal election to see ideas debated, to influence decision making so as to have a positive impact on society and  represent my constituents’ values and issues to the best of my ability. 

I’m not always convinced that the person spending the largest amount of money will get elected (I didn’t spend the most in Winnipeg Centre during the 2015 election), but there is an overwhelming correlation between the amount of money spent during a campaign and the chances of winning. For some, donating money to a candidate or party can potentially give them more face time with a decision maker on important subjects. For politicians, every donation can help with re-election so many try keep their donors happy. Politicians though must serve the public good; we must make decisions that benefit the majority of Canadians now and into the future. If people believe that politicians are giving undue advantage to certain groups, then we all should be concerned.
This is why I need your help. One of the issues I am going to begin looking into is the issue of political financing and I am looking for feedback from my constituents. What should be the maximum amount an individual can donate to a political party or Electoral District Association in a year? Should there be further caveats and limitations on donors? Should political parties receive all or a portion of their funding in the form of a political subsidy? Should we ban all donations? Tough questions, but I would like to hear your opinions and thoughts so please call or write my office. I can be reached at my constituency office at 594 Ellice Avenue or by phone at (204) 984-1675. Don’t forget that postage is free to your local Member of Parliament by the grace of Canada Post.
Tapwe akwa khitwam.