By The Canadian Press
WINNIPEG – Newly released documents show Wab Kinew raised about five times as much money as his opponent in the race for the leadership of Manitoba’s New Democratic Party.
The documents, filed by each campaign team with Elections Manitoba, say Kinew raised more than $66,000 compared to just $13,900 for Steve Ashton.
The filings show Kinew ended with a small surplus, while Ashton was left with a deficit of $6,300 after spending more than he took in.
The documents also show Ashton over-contributed to his own campaign.
He donated $4,000 — $1,000 more than the contribution limit under provincial law.
Ashton’s official agent says it was an accident — he charged $1,000 to Ashton’s credit card early in the campaign, forgot he had done so, then charged $3,000 to the same credit card later on.
Randy Schulz said he was transparent about the error.
“We’re now looking for direction from Elections Manitoba,” Schulz said Tuesday.
The Election Financing Act says exceeding the contribution limit is an offence but does not outline a specific penalty.
Kinew, who was first elected to the legislature in 2016, cruised to victory in the leadership race last September with 74 per cent of the vote. Ashton, a former cabinet minister who lost his legislature seat in the 2016 election, was the only other candidate in the leadership race.
Kinew has promised to rebuild the Opposition NDP following the party’s defeat in 2016. The NDP holds 13 of the 57 legislature seats and recently paid off its debt from the 2016 election.
The documents show the biggest donors to the Kinew campaign were Kinew and his wife, at $3,000 each.
The biggest donors to the Ashton camp were Ashton and his wife, who together accounted for more than half of all the money he raised.