MONTREAL - A new law that limits election donations to provincial parties came into effect Tuesday.
Voters can now only donate $100 per political party, per year, down from $1,000.
The Parti Quebecois capped total spending by political parties to $8 million per election campaign, down from $11.5 million. The government also increased taxpayer subsidies to partially compensate for the revenue decreases.
The PQ said the reforms will help re-establish citizens' confidence in their political system. Witnesses at the province's corruption inquiry said Quebec's election rules had been easily exploited.
In October, former construction entrepreneur Lino Zambito told the inquiry he helped the Quebec Liberal Party collect tens of thousands of dollars in illegal campaign donations. He said he used what are known as "figureheads," such as friends and clients, to make donations on his behalf and he would reimburse them.
Limiting individual donations to $100 per party doesn't rid the system of the figurehead problem, but the reforms are expected to make it harder to circumvent donations rules.
Aside from the $100 limit to a political party, donations will no longer be tax deductible. The PQ will use the money saved to match party funds according to a new formula. For every fiscal year, the government will add $2.50 to every dollar collected by a political party, up to $20,000, an