Spending more didn’t pay off in the race to become the Keewatinook MLA in last April’s provincial election, as the winner, Liberal Judy Klassen, spent less than one of the rivals she beat.
Klassen’s financial statements, filed Sept. 15 after she received an extension to the Aug. 19 deadline, show that the Liberal MLA spent $32,408.70 in total during the campaign period, with $26,632.44 of that classified as election-related expenses. Her biggest expenditure by far was on transportation, accommodation and food, which accounted for $20,0005.68, far more than advertising ($4,248.76), signs and structural support ($1,848.74) and telephone bills ($1,455.44). She raised $31,199.79, including $6,295.15 from donations, $22,024.09 from the Liberal party, $1,800 from fundraising and $1,080 from her constituency association.
Progressive Conservative candidate Edna Nabess spent $24,473.08, $24,120.58 of which was classified as election expenses. Her biggest expense ($14,618.22) was also on food, transportation and accommodation, followed by honoraria/salaries ($4,500), office rent and utilities ($1,826.80) and advertising ($1,825.84). Nabess raised $23,742.88 from donations and got $270 from the PC party for a total of $24,012.88.
NDP incumbent Eric Robinson spent $32,365.17 on election expenses and $2,254.06 on non-election expenses through the course of the campaign, with the bulk of that money ($22,124.30) spent on transportation, accommodation and food. Other major expenses included honoraria and salaries ($3,132.20), signs and structural support ($2,508.60), office rent and utilities ($2,270.98), advertising ($1,719.53), and office supplies and postage ($1,092.85). Robinson raised $21,759.71 overall, with the largest portion ($13,430) coming from the NDP and $7,800 from his constituency organization.
The election spending limit for the Keewatinook electoral district in the 2016 provincial election was $8,654 for advertising and $66,918 overall.
Candidates are eligible for reimbursement of up to 50 per cent of eligible election expenses if they receive 10 per cent or more of valid votes in their electoral division. Parties qualify for reimbursement if they receive 10 per cent or more of valid votes in each electoral division where it endorsed a candidate.