Thursday, October 10, 2013

2013 Calgary Mayoral Election--Where is the Money Coming From?

Most Calgarians likely can't help from noticing the ubiquitous and frequent amount of fliers and other publicity materials being used in the 2013 Calgary Municipal Elections. In addition, Calgarians likely notice numerous billboard like signs. All these promotional materials cost money. Where is the money coming from? What strings are attached to the candidates, especially those candidates who receive the largest amount of contributions?

In the third week of October, 2013, the Foundation for Democratic Advancement will release its electoral finance analysis from the 2010 Calgary Mayoral Election, and the most recent 2013 Calgary municipal election. This information will give you objective and informed information on how much each candidate received in contributions and from who. Please note, that due to the weak municipal election laws, there is no required audit on municipal candidates' financial disclosures, and the campaign contribution limit is set high at $5,000 per individual/corporation per year. In addition, an electoral finance audit is only as good as the sources of revenue and expenses that the candidate discloses.

Below are primary sources of finance in Calgary. It should be noted that the construction sector of the Calgary economy only represents 8.1% as percentage of GDP for 2013 (or $8,7771 million). The largest sector in Calgary economy is the primary and utilities (or oil and gas sector). This sector represents 32.1% of the Calgary GDP for 2013. 

GDP by industry - Calgary CMA, 2013 (Calgary Economic Development, 2013).

Industry2007 $ Millions(as % of GDP)

Goods-producing industries51,34547.2%
   Primary and utilities34,89832.1%

Services-producing industries57,36952.8%
   Transportation and warehousing4,6184.2%
   Information and cultural industries3,3503.1%
   Wholesale and retail trade9,0218.3%
   Finance, insurance and real estate and leasing15,33114.1%
   Business services9,8829.1%
   Personal services4,3724.0%
   Non-commercial services7,7227.1%
   Public administration and defence3,0722.8%
All industries108,714100.0%

Stephen Garvey, Executive Director, Foundation for Democratic Advancement

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