MP Charmaine Borg withdraws crowdfunding reward offers after backlash

CBC News by Laura Payton | September 23, 2014

NDP digital issues critic apologizes for offering to name donors in House as crowdfunding reward

ndp charmaine borg crowdfunding 300x168 - MP Charmaine Borg withdraws crowdfunding reward offers after backlash

NDP MP Charmaine Borg quickly backpedalled on her offer to make statements in the House of Commons in exchange for donations. (Source: Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

New Democrat MP Charmaine Borg's attempt at online fundraising is getting a big thumbs-down after she offered to mention donors' names in the House of Commons.

The digital affairs critic tweeted a link to her crowdfunding page Monday in an attempt to raise money for her re-election campaign.

But two of the rewards involved Borg making statements in the House of Commons, which led to immediate criticism.

One was an offer to read in the House of Commons the names of anyone who contributed $50.

Related: Politicians turn to crowdfunding for campaign cash

For $1,000, she was willing to tell the House "Resistance is futile," a reference to the Borg, the cyborg alien collective featured on Star Trek:The Next Generation that shares her last name.

"Want to help me continue to be your voice in the digital age?" she wrote on Twitter, linking to an online donation site.

Within minutes, Borg removed the rewards and apologized.

'A profoundly bad idea'

"So regarding my crowdfunding campaign I apologize for anyone who got offended with the perks. I didn't see it that way and am changing it," Borg wrote on Twitter.

Crowdfunding sites let a user set a donation goal and offer rewards for different contribution amounts.

The NDP said Borg wasn't available for an interview. She spent the day in her riding north of Montreal.

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair said Borg earned no donations off the rewards before pulling them down.

Related: Open data and crowdfunding can breathe new life into democracy

"I think that the important thing to understand is that Charmaine, when she realized the situation, immediately withdrew that and apologized for it," he said.

Michelle Rempel, minister of state for western economic diversification, however, wasn't mollified.

Next: Cities using Crowdfunding for Community Projects


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