The provincial New Democrats are counting on the living to support them at the ballot box. But it's the dead who have been supporting them financially. Public Eye has exclusively learned 35 percent of the party's revenue in the first 10 months of 2010 came from estate gifts. Leaked notes from a New Democrat executive meeting on July 14 had earlier suggested the party was heavily indebted to the deceased for its financial well-being. Those notes paraphrase its president Moe Sihota as saying, "Without the estate gifts we'd be behind the eight ball." But the full extent of the party's recent reliance on those gifts was disclosed at a last month's meeting of the New Democrats' governing provincial council.
Attendees were advised that, out of the $2 million in revenue the party took in during the first ten months of 2010, $724,306 of it came from such bequests.
However, that largess isn't expected to continue. The New Democrats estimate they will only take in $40,000 worth of estate gifts in 2011.
Its expected increases in the party's other fundraising activities will make up for that drop-off.