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Tories and NDP lead drive for cash

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Manitoba’s political parties have been busy preparing their 2010 financial statements, as required by Elections Manitoba.

So far, the NDP, the Liberal Party and the Greens have filed by the March 31 deadline, while the Progressive Conservative and the Communist parties have received extensions until April 15.

The statements give valuable insight into the financial health of the political parties, providing donations totals and listing everyone who contributes $250 or more.

If you look at reports going back four years to 2007, it is clear that the NDP and the PCs will have sizable war chests for the coming campaigns, while the Liberals and especially the Greens will be on an unequal financial footing with the two main parties.

Below are total donations for the past four years to the three political parties with seats in the Manitoba legislature. Note, the 2010 PC figure — a whopping $1.75 million — is a party estimate. The audited number should be available on the Elections Manitoba website, with the others, by next Friday.

NDP

2007 contributions: $1,306,763.61

2008 contributions: $722,501.79

2009 contributions: $927,871.84

2010 contributions: $1,012,746.70

PC

2007 contributions: $949,403.00

2008 contributions: $834,710.00

2009 contributions: $999,581.00

2010 contributions: $1.75 million.*

*Party supplied.

Liberals

2007 contributions: $221,507.98

2008 contributions: $136,545.73

2009 contributions: $157,510.00

2010 contributions: $152,632.53

In 2010, the Green party received financial contributions totalling $6,956.96. The party lists two donors who contributed $250 or more.

For the full party reports and donors lists go here and scroll to the bottom of the page where it asks you to pick a year.

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About Larry Kusch and Bruce Owen

Larry Kusch has been a journalist for 30 years, the last 20 with the Winnipeg Free Press. His is one of the newspaper's two legislative bureau reporters.

Raised on a Saskatchewan farm, he received an honours journalism degree from Carleton University in 1975.

At the Free Press, Larry has also worked as a general assignment reporter, business reporter, copy editor and assistant city editor.

Bruce Owen joined the Winnipeg Free Press in 1990 after four years working in other media.

He's worked in a number of positions at the Freep, including pet columnist, assistant city editor and police reporter. Right now he takes up space at the Manitoba legislature.

Bruce is one of five reporters who won a National Newspaper Award for the paper’s coverage of the 1997 Flood of the Century. He's also the recipient of the 1996 Volunteer Centre of Winnipeg Media Golden Hand Award and the 1995 Canadian Federation of Humane Societies Media Commendation Award.

In a past life Bruce worked at YMCA-YWCA Camp Stephens. He has a blog where he and others write about camp and the people who worked and played there.

You can also find Bruce on Twitter where he posts and retweets all sorts of stuff.

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