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'Every political party in the country took a hit': NDP treasurer

The New Democratic Party's financial troubles are no worse than other political parties are suffering, treasurer Cheryl Hewitt said.

“There's a fundraising challenge always at the end of an election,” she said. “We're not in any different shape. If you look at the Liberal Party as well, their donations from individuals are down too. All of us took a hit. Every political party in the country took a hit.”

The financial statements presented to the convention said the party had spent $311,605 more than it took in by the end of 2008. They cover the period up to four and a half months before the May election.

Asked how big the party's debt is, Hewitt said, “It's hard to tell because we carry debt at the provincial level and we carry debt at the riding level.”

Distancing the party from labour unions has not affected the party's finances, she said. “We're still as connected as we ever were. There's still huge commitment from working men and women in British Columbia to the party and it shows up in the support from those individuals and support from their unions. There's really no change at all.”

During her address to the convention she encouraged members not to be afraid to ask people for money. "We have a fundraising problem," she said. "And why? Because we're not fundraising."

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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