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Canada: campaign finance changes mean candidates don't go to the Artic

The Canadian Press reports: Campaign finance laws intended to improve Canadian elections are having the opposite effect in the Arctic, making it too expensive for candidates to reach far-flung northern communities and cutting them off from the people whose votes they seek.

Changes passed in 2003 resulted in a $1,000 limit on the amount of money corporations can donate to any one candidate. That killed a practice by northern airlines of giving free or discounted plane tickets to candidates -- the only way for many of the 58 communities in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories ridings to get a look at the men and women asking for their vote.

"The new campaign laws mean that airlines can no longer donate tickets to candidates, even though they've done it for all candidates in the past," said Jack Hicks, an agent for Nunavut NDP candidate Amanda Ford-Rogers.

With no road links at all in Nunavut and sketchy highways and winter roads in the NWT, air travel is crucial in the North. It's also expensive. -- The Globe and Mail: For candidates, campaign finance laws put Arctic out of reach

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