Longer election campaign will cost taxpayers more
It’s not just political parties that will be spending money hand over fist if Stephen Harper fires the starting gun for the Oct. 19 federal election weeks earlier than necessary.
Taxpayers will be shelling out big bucks, too — millions in extra administrative costs and tens of millions more in rebates to parties and candidates for their inflated election expenses.
Speculation is rampant that Harper is poised to officially kick off the election campaign — known as the writ period — as early as this weekend.
That would make for an 11week campaign, the longest federal campaign since 1926 and more than twice the five weeks typically allotted for campaigns in recent times.
Elections Canada estimates that a campaign this fall of 37 days — the minimum required by law — would cost roughly $375 million to administer.
The agency was not able to estimate how much more a longer campaign would cost, but spokeswoman Diane Benson acknowledged there would indeed be some additional expenses.