United Conservative Party leadership candidate Travis Toews has matched opponent Danielle Smith in surpassing $1 million in fundraising efforts — but he won’t release the number of donors who contributed to his campaign. 

As of Saturday, the former finance minister raised $1,027,397, his campaign told True North. 

“I’ve been extremely grateful and humbled to see hundreds of Albertans from all walks of life show up at our rallies and bbqs,” Toews said in a prepared statement. 

“These grassroots UCP members are excited to hear the message of hope and optimism for our future. We will continue to push that message for the rest of the campaign.” 

His campaign did not respond to repeated queries about the number of donors that contributed.

The Smith campaign on Monday announced it had raised $1,040,000 from 5,442 donations, with an average donation of $191.

Under Alberta’s election laws, donors can contribute a maximum of $4,300 to a political candidate or party. This total can be split between a variety of candidates and political parties or given to just one. It’s also tax deductible. 

The minimum number of donors a campaign could have is its total donations divided by the maximum contribution. 

Candidates are not required to release donor information but that data will become publicly available after the leadership race through Elections Alberta, where candidates are required to report all donations and campaign expenses. Candidates must file their election report within the year, but donations must be filed earlier so donors can be given verified tax receipts. 

All other campaigns have so far declined to release fundraising numbers. The Brian Jean campaign and the Rebecca Schulz campaigns both said they will be releasing their fundraising numbers in the coming days. The Schulz campaign also said fundraising efforts are currently in “the hundreds of thousands.”

Leela Aheer’s campaign said it’s running a “fiscally conservative campaign.”

“This is about people for us. Not money,” the campaign said in a statement to True North.

Rajan Sawhney’s campaign said it has no plans to release fundraising numbers. 

Donations to both Toews and Smith surpassed registered donations for the UCP in the first two quarters, but fell short of donations to the Alberta NDP.

Donations to the UCP in the first two financial quarters totalled $887,974. That number rose to $1,823,176 for the NDP. 

In spring 2023, the new UCP leader will face off with the NDP in a general election.

A Mainstreet Research survey conducted earlier this month found that Smith looks poised to win the Premiership with 44% support of party backers. 

Another 20% said they backed Brian Jean in the leadership race, followed by former finance minister Travis Toews with 19%, and 7% for Todd Loewen. Rebecca Schulz received 6%, Leela Aheer had 3% and Rajan Sawhney had 1%.

Alberta Correspondent | + posts

Rachel is a seasoned political reporter who’s covered government institutions from a variety of levels. A Carleton University journalism graduate, she was a multimedia reporter for three local Niagara newspapers. Her work has been published in the Toronto Star. Rachel was the inaugural recipient of the Political Matters internship, placing her at The Globe and Mail’s parliamentary bureau. She spent three years covering the federal government for iPolitics. Rachel is the Alberta correspondent for True North based in Edmonton.

We’re asking readers, like you, to make a contribution in support of True North’s fact-based, independent journalism.

Unlike the mainstream media, True North isn’t getting a government bailout. Instead, we depend on the generosity of Canadians like you.

How can a media outlet be trusted to remain neutral and fair if they’re beneficiaries of a government handout? We don’t think they can.

This is why independent media in Canada is more important than ever. If you’re able, please make a tax-deductible donation to True North today. Thank you so much.