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Federal parties see drop in donations during height of pandemic

Last Updated Aug 1, 2020 at 3:19 pm PDT

A voter marks a ballot behind a privacy barrier in the riding of Vaudreuil-Soulanges, west of Montreal, on election day, Monday, Oct. 19, 2015. Online advertising is coming close to rivalling television when it comes to how Canada's main political parties got their message out to Canadians last fall. The first election expense reports are now public on the Elections Canada website and show the Conservatives outspent the Liberals in their campaign effort with the financially-troubled NDP well behind.THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Graham Hughes

OTTAWA – Newly released figures show federal political parties are seeing a significant drop in donations this year as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the lives and pocket books of Canadians.

Second quarter financial returns released by Elections Canada this week show the Liberals and Conservatives took in less money between April and June _ when the economy was virtually shut down and Canadians were hunkered in their homes to avoid catching COVID-19 _ than during the same period two years ag0

But despite the significant financial impacts the pandemic has had on many Canadians, political donations have not entirely dried up.

The Conservatives pulled in $4 million in the second quarter of this year, down from $6 million raised in the same time period in 2018, the last non-election year, while The Liberals took in $2.6 million, down from $3.1 million in 2018.

The NDP, Bloc and Green parties, meanwhile, saw slight increases in their donations compared to 2018.

The New Democrats received $1.3 million compared to just $964,000 two years ago, the Green party took in $721,000 in second quarter, up from $572,000, and the Bloc received $134,000, up from a meagre $44,000 two years ago.