Yukon NDP leader Hanson to table Fairness in Political Contributions Act

Yukon NDP leader Liz Hanson will table the Fairness in Political Contributions Act, a bill that proposes reforms to Yukon’s political donation rules, in the Yukon Legislative Assembly later today. By ending the practice of allowing donations from unions, corporations and non-Yukoners and setting a $1,500 annual limit on an individual’s donations, the Act aims to empower ordinary Yukoners and level the playing field for all parties ahead of this year’s territorial election.

“At some point this year, the Yukon Party will announce a territorial election. And we want to strengthen the voices of ordinary Yukoners ahead of this important moment,” said Hanson as she announced the bill in a press conference this morning. “Right now, as you know, there are no limits to how much – or who – can make political donations in Yukon. We think it’s time for our politics to reflect Yukon and Yukoners.”

The bill that will be tabled represents another piece of the Yukon NDP’s democratic reform agenda. The NDP caucus has already tabled bills to prevent floor-crossing without a by-election and a Paid Lobbying Act to make government relations more transparent.

The Fairness in Political Contributions Act builds on donations rules in place in Canada’s other territories, where donations cannot be made by non-residents and have a $1,500 annual limit. Laws implemented by the federal government and Rachel Notley’s Alberta NDP government that ban union and corporate donations while also imposing individual contribution limits.

The bill was also spurred by the growing recognition across Canada that big money in politics needs to come to an end, especially in light of recent cash-for-access scandals. The Ontario Liberal Government has been accused of setting fundraising goals for its ministers, and the BC NDP has proposed similar legislation to limit events like the $20,000-a-plate dinners thrown by the BC Liberals.

“This bill gives us the chance to strengthen the voices of ordinary Yukoners in our political process by reforming our political donations rules,” added Hanson. “We will call this bill for debate this session, and we hope that we can count on support from the Yukon Party and the Yukon Liberal leader in passing this important democratic reform bill.”

“When this legislation is passed – and it will be passed, either now with their support or when we table it as a government – we hope that it will strengthen our democracy and encourage ordinary Yukoners to play a bigger part in our political process.”