Kevin O'Leary campaign says it raised nearly $184,000 in 24 hours
Conservative leadership candidate Kevin O'Leary arrives at a television studio for an interview in Toronto, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017. (Chris Young / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Friday, January 27, 2017 5:35PM EST
Last Updated Friday, January 27, 2017 5:39PM EST
Conservative leadership candidate Kevin O’Leary raised $183,963.51 in a single day, according to his campaign.
The campaign says the funds were raised from 1,911 people after O’Leary put out a call to raise $25,000 before midnight on Jan. 26.
By contrast, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau raised $2,017,975 from 12,870 contributors during the entirety of his rough six-month Liberal leadership campaign.
“This shows the clear momentum and motivation of Canadians that want to see Justin Trudeau out of office,” O’Leary said, according to the statement.
“This morning Justin made changes to campaign financing in the wake of his shameful record of cash for access,” he added. “I’m here to put him on notice that Canadians won’t stand for this anymore.”
Trudeau has been accused of offering access at private dinners and other events in exchange for donations to the Liberal Party of up to $1,500. After criticism of the practice, Trudeau’s office announced Friday that the Liberals are drafting new rules for fundraisers, including requiring them to be in public spaces and advertised publicly.
O’Leary told CTV’s Question Period earlier this month that he was frustrated with campaign finance rules and that he should be allowed to pay for the “whole thing himself” as long as it’s transparent.
"I feel bad for the candidates that run around and collected $1,500 at a time," he said. "I'm going to have to do the same thing, but I think it's unfair. Why not let me spend my own money, I don’t see what’s wrong with that, as long as it's transparent?” he said.
O’Leary also told Question Period earlier this month that he thinks a company should be allowed to donate a million dollars to a contestant, “as long as you’re disclosing it,” although he wouldn’t take it because “it smacks that you’re going to have some commitment or obligation.”
O’Leary added that he thought the prime minister was "in trouble” over fundraising dinners because he “wasn't transparent.”