By Rachel Emmanuel
Alberta’s New Democratic Party (NDP) fundraised more than double compared to United Conservative Party (UCP) in the second financial quarter, while Prolife Alberta came third in fundraising efforts — ahead of political parties that run candidates in elections.
Rachel Notley’s NDP fundraised $1,430,164 in the second quarter, an increase of $393,012 from the first quarter.
The UCP came in second with $521,175 this quarter, a decrease of $366,799.
The results come amid the UCP leadership contest, in which seven candidates must fundraise $175,000 to run. The first $150,000 is to cover the cost of the leadership race, while the remaining $25,000 is a refundable deposit for compliance with the contest rules.
All candidates submitted at least $75,000 last month with their leadership application. Some candidates have already paid the full deposit.
The costly leadership contest comes ahead of next year’s provincial election against the NDP.
The UCP was focused on the leadership review in the second quarter, but it’s now seeing incredible growth in membership and fundraising moving into the third quarter, UCP communications director Dave Prisco told True North.
“Tens of thousands of people are joining the party bringing in hundreds of thousands of dollars in membership dues and fundraising after the review vote is very strong,” he said in an email. “We believe we’ll close the gap in the third quarter and have a strong war chest in place in time for our new Leader.”
Meanwhile, Prolife Alberta came third in fundraising efforts, ahead of the Alberta Party, the Liberals, the Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta and the Green Party. The group fundraised $94,214, an increase of $26,650 from the first quarter.
Prolife Alberta does not run candidates in political elections, but seeks to promote pro-life policy through policy and politics.
Every quarter when the fundraising efforts are released, the political party serves as a reminder that pro-life Albertans are here, they want to be involved and they’re being neglected by mainstream political parties who ignore their concerns, said the executive director of Prolife Alberta Richard Dur.
“As long as Albertan politicians continue to deprive Alberta’s preborn children with the right to life, they will be depriving themselves of a dedicated base of supporters, donors, volunteers and contributions,” he told True North.
Prolife Alberta only began ramping up fundraising efforts in February 2021, but found quick success.
The group raised nearly $217,000 in contributions in 2021. In the first three quarters, it again out-fundraised the Wildrose Independence Party, the Alberta Party and the Alberta Liberals.
Dur said he’d like to see more conversation on pro-life issues in the UCP leadership race, but the group is canvassing all the candidates and hopes to publish the results ahead of the membership cutoff on August 12.
UCP members will elect a new leader and Premier on October 6.