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Ontario Liberals hope to raise $10M ahead of possible early election

Ontario Liberal leader Bonnie Crombie is looking to raise $10 million before the next provincial election as she tries to lift the party from the ashes of two debilitating electoral results.

The province’s opposition parties have been scrambling to prepare their teams for the next province-wide vote after Premier Doug Ford began dropping hints his government could speed up the timing of the next election from the currently scheduled date in June 2026.

Ford, sources told Global News, addressed the early election speculation during a recent Ontario PC party caucus briefing and intimated concern about the impact of a future Conservative government under Pierre Poilievre.

Poilievre’s Conservatives have been leading in opinion polls and is widely expected to win the next federal election, currently scheduled for Oct. 2025. Provincial sources said if Poilievre wins and tables a federal budget focused on spending cuts in the Spring of 2026, Ford has expressed concern about campaigning in the wake of a potentially unpopular spending plan and having to “wear” the federal budget cuts.

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Click to play video: 'Can Poilievre, federal Conservatives sustain rising popularity?'

Can Poilievre, federal Conservatives sustain rising popularity?

The early election speculation, however, has forced Ford’s staunchest critics to speed up election preparations.

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“We’re already rolling up our sleeves and getting it going,” said NDP Leader Marit Stiles, adding that the party has set up an election planning committee, has begun searching for candidates and setting up the nomination process.

“Let’s go. Let’s get rid of this government, the sooner the better,” Stiles said. “And we are in a position to be able to defeat him.”

Click to play video: 'Ontario Liberal Leader Bonnie Crombie'

Ontario Liberal Leader Bonnie Crombie

With the potential for an early election looming, Crombie said her party has set its sights on raising more than $10 million before the writ is dropped.

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“I do have a goal,” Crombie said. “To be competitive you need a minimum of $10 million and I’m confident by election day we’ll be there.”

The Liberal leader said the party was “actively raising money” but didn’t disclose how much had been netted so far. In December, the Liberals had said they were aiming to raise roughly $1 million per month.

Ontario’s political parties are facing a financial cliff at the end of 2024 when the province’s per-vote subsidy comes to an end. The subsidy, meant to compensate for a 2017 change in fundraising rules that prevented donations from corporations and unions, poured millions into each party’s coffers.

In 2023, the PC party received $5.1 million in the per-vote-subsidy, while the NDP received $3.3 million, the Liberals earned $2.8 million and the Green party was given $702,000.

&© 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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