Meili says time to get big money out of Saskatchewan politics, won’t take corporate or union donations during leadership race

  • Calls fair campaign financing “a matter of trust.”
  • Commits to fundraising for leadership from individual donors alone

(Saskatoon, SK) September 1, 2017 — With former Sask Party MLA Bill Boyd now officially out of the legislature after having left his government to deal with a cloud of scandal, Saskatchewan NDP leadership candidate Ryan Meili says it’s time to update Saskatchewan’s archaic election finance laws. Meili has committed to working to restore public trust in Saskatchewan politics and politicians by introducing strict new accountability measures governing party donations.

“The foundation of a healthy democracy is trust. Corruption undermines the confidence of Saskatchewan people in the democratic process,” said Meili. “I have heard over and over from Saskatchewan residents that they want to believe their government is working for the wellbeing of the whole province and not just the wealth of their friends.”

The Saskatchewan Party has accepted more than $3 million in corporate donations since 2006, as well as tens of thousands of dollars in donations from publicly funded sources.

In addition to the changes he promises, Meili has committed to set an example by not accepting corporate or union donations in his upcoming NDP leadership campaign.

“People are fed up with business-as-usual politics. Our leadership campaign is about showing that we can do better by modeling the kind of behaviour people are asking for from their representatives,” said Meili. “Decisions in a democracy should be guided by the will of the people, not the interests of corporations and a wealthy few,” said Meili.

Democratic campaign finance reform — including ending corporate and union donations, a cap on personal donations, and the elimination of donations from public entities such as libraries and universities — will be his first priority as leader of a Saskatchewan New Democratic Party government, Meili said.