Volume 95, Issue 88

Wednesday, March 20, 2002
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Laurier Tory took small 'bonus'

Grad students consider bus pass

Fanshawe builds giant crib to protect students

Students' councils losing cash - literally

Lecture on troubled India

Students to protect border

News Briefs

Laurier Tory took small 'bonus'

'Not meant to be public information'

By Jessica Leeder
Gazette Staff

One student member of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party admitted yesterday to receiving funding from the Tory's Millennium Leadership Fund to aid in her recent election campaign.

Kristi Edwards, a Wilfrid Laurier University PC Club member, was elected VP-university affairs on the Wilfrid Laurier Students' Union last month.

Edwards told The Gazette yesterday she received $50 from the MLF – a fund administered by the Ontario PC Campus Association to aid conservative students in their election bids – as a "bonus" to help with her campaign.

"I would like to say that the money helped me get elected – but it didn't. I put more of my own money into it than what [the OPCCA] gave me anyway," she said.

Edwards said WLSU election campaign laws limit candidates to spending $250 on elections, but candidates are reimbursed by the WLSU for expenses totalling that amount.

Edwards said the MLF donation subsidized the amount of personal funds she sunk into the election.

OPCCA president Adam Daifallah claimed yesterday that approximately $500 has been drawn from the MLF to aid a handful of conservative candidates across the province this year.

Last week, PC officials refused to discuss how much money had been distributed from the MLF.

"This was not meant to be public information. The PC party is one of the least involved in student politics and that is one of the reasons for the fund," he said.

Mike Lindsay, president-elect of the Queen's Alma Mater Society, ran on a slate with two other conservatives – Lanny Cardow, VP-operations-elect and Shawna Kaufman, VP-university affairs-elect – in February, but said none of the three received MLF funding.

"At Queen's, everyone who runs for election gets reimbursed for their costs," Lindsay said, adding unless candidates were trying to profit from running election campaigns, there would be no reason to seek donations.

Meanwhile, Liberal party officials said the Tory fund was cause for concern.

"You can't have a system where there are separate organizations funding certain candidates – providing them an advantage over other candidates," said Dave Pryce, executive director of the Ontario Liberal Party.

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