Media 'experts' are Grit, NDP donors 0
Prof. Amir Attaran, a professor of law and medicine at the University of Ottawa (left) and NDP MP Olivia Chow (right) speak to members of the media, Feb. 14, 2011. (Chris Roussakis/QMI Agency)
They're touted as non-partisan experts on defence, human rights and other issues, but at least three media darlings are pocketbook supporters of the Liberals and New Democrats and their policies.
Data released by Elections Canada on Wednesday lists University of Ottawa law professor Errol Mendes as a Liberal Party donor, giving about $350 to the party in the first three months of 2012.
Mendes has frequently been sought out for comment on Canadian soldiers' handling of Afghan detainees and Prime Minister Stephen Harper's proroguing of Parliament.
Meantime, University of British Columbia law professor Michael Byers, a critic of the F-35 purchase and the military mission in Afghanistan, gave almost $300 to the NDP in the first quarter of this year.
And the unsuccessful NDP leadership campaign of Ottawa MP Paul Dewar accepted a $1,200 donation from Amir Attaran.
Attaran is a University of Ottawa law professor who once called for the resignations of former defence minister Gordon O'Connor and ex-chief of defence staff Rick Hillier over Canada's "routine practice of handing over prisoners to known torturers" in Afghanistan.
Elections Canada's report also shows the Conservatives are still tops when it comes to fundraising, managing to rake in more than $5 million in donations between January and March of this year.
That's down from about $7.5 million raised in the same period a year ago, ahead of the last federal election.
The Liberals took in almost $2.4 million in donations the first quarter of 2012, while the NDP raised $2 million.