The Liberal Leadership Convention in Montreal made a profit. I bring this up for many who seem to think holding such a convention would bankrupt the party. For those who argue Stephane Dion should stay I suggest you stop using the fiscal argument against holding a Leadership Convention because as the last one made a profit, such an argument would actually go against your intended purpose and only add reasons to hold one.
From the story that circulated last February concerning the Party had turned such a profit it actually reimbursed leadership candidates their entry fees:
Rae wins battle for leadership race fees
By Richard Foot, Canwest News Service
Published: Monday, February 25, 2008
Former Ontario premier Bob Rae has won his legal battle to be refunded the $50,000 he paid as an entry fee into the 2006 federal Liberal leadership race.
Rae and 10 other contenders paid $50,000 apiece to the Liberal Party upon entering the campaign. The money was meant to help the party cover the costs of the leadership convention at which Stephane Dion was elected leader.
However, the party made a healthy profit on the convention. When it asked Elections Canada if it could reimburse the entry fees to each of the candidates - many of whom were indebted by the contest - the agency said no.
Elections Canada said recent amendments to the Elections Act, designed to limit campaign contributions to individual candidates, did not allow the party to transfer money to the contenders.
Rae asked the Federal Court to intervene. On Monday it said refunding the candidates their $50,000 fees was not illegal, because the money came from them in the first place.
The 11 candidates all took out loans to finance their leadership campaigns, leaving cumulative debts of about $3 million after the convention.
Rae himself owed about $220,000 after the campaign.
"We are absolutely thrilled," said Rae spokeswoman Sheila Gervais after reading the court ruling. "This is extremely good news not just for our campaign but for all the leadership contenders."
Gervais said Rae will have paid off all but about $15,000 of his leadership debt after getting his money back from the party.
The Liberals' national president Marie Poulin said the party was pleased with the ruling and would soon be returning $50,000 to all 11 former candidates.