As the federal NDP prepares to spend twice what it did in the 2019 election on the next campaign, some grassroots members say that spending is happening at their expense.
New Democrat headquarters in Ottawa is keeping 100 per cent of all Elections Canada campaign expense reimbursements — money that usually flows to candidates and benefits electoral district associations or ridings.
The decision to keep all rebates was made ahead of the 2019 election and the policy is expected to remain in place for the next campaign.
Some New Democrats say the move goes against the party's values and leaves local operations in a vulnerable financial position.
In an email statement to CBC News, NDP National Director Anne McGrath said that everyone who ran for the NDP in the last several elections agreed to send campaign reimbursements to the party before they became candidates.
(they agreed to send campaign reimbursements to the party, but DID NOT agree to 100%)
"National campaigns and the coverage the leader and the campaign get in elections benefits every candidate in every riding," McGrath wrote.
"We're proud of our 2019 campaign, and we look forward to [using] the next campaign to talk to Canadians from coast to coast to coast ... to let them know that [party leader Jagmeet Singh] and New Democrats will keep fighting for them."
Party member Barry Weisleder, the chairperson of the party's unofficial socialist caucus, calls the whole situation "a bit of a scandal" and a betrayal of the NDP's rank and file.
Weisleder said EDAs use the money to cover a range of expenses — renting office space, printing signs, hiring temporary staff.
The party's actions, he said, show that the NDP remains focused on "building up parliamentary careers" and not a working-class movement.
"We're not talking about misappropriation of funds here. We're talking about misallocation of funds," Weisleder said.
"It shows a preoccupation with polling and with the central campaign dynamics and not with local organizing."