Ontario political parties relied heavily on corporate, union donations last year

The new year marks a new fundraising reality for Ontario's political parties, which now have to get by without funding from their top donors _ corporations and unions.

The 2016 figures from Elections Ontario show corporations made up roughly 90 per cent of the Progressive Conservatives' top donors and about three quarters of the governing Liberals' top donors.

The New Democrats' top donations came from unions.

The figures show the Progressive Conservatives out-hustled the other parties, raising nearly $10 million, while the Liberals raised $6 million and the NDP raised almost $3 million.

The old rules allowed individuals, corporations and unions to donate $9,975 to a party each year, but they were also allowed to donate the same amount during a byelection period _ and there were three last year.

Under the new rules, the parties get per-vote subsidies working out to several million dollars to help them stay afloat in at least the first few years without corporate and union donations.

Politicians are also now banned from attending fundraising events, presenting parties with an additional challenge when trying to fill their coffers ahead of next year's general election.
 

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