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RCO





Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 6283
Reputation: 229.2
votes: 3
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 3:46 pm    Post subject: Ontario's election financing reform bill passes Reply with quote

( its not perfect but perhaps it will lead to better things down the road , the cap on third party advertising was really needed , I just hope its not too restrictive as parties do need to do some legitimate fundraising to pay bills and run campaigns )


Ontario overhauls campaign finance rules with sweeping reforms


Adrian Morrow


The Globe and Mail (includes correction)


Published Thursday, Dec. 01, 2016 12:10PM EST

Ontario has passed a sweeping set of campaign finance reforms to clamp down on cash-for-access fundraising, end corporate and union donations, impose tighter caps on individual contributions and put restrictions on SuperPAC-style third-party advertisers.

The Election Finances Act – which was prompted by a Globe and Mail investigation into pay-to-play fundraising – passed its final vote in the legislature Thursday morning with all three parties voting in favour.



The new law leaves a handful of loopholes, but still represents the most substantial campaign finance reform for the province in a generation. It takes effect Jan. 1, 2017.

It will prohibit all provincial politicians, candidates and senior political staffers from attending fundraising events; ban corporations and unions from donating; cap donations from individuals at $3,600 per political party annually, down from more than $30,000 under the current system; and third-party advertisers wishing to influence elections, who currently face no spending restrictions, will be capped at spending $100,000 during a campaign period and $600,000 in the six months prior.

Premier Kathleen Wynne brought in the reforms following The Globe revelations that corporate leaders and lobbyists seeking government contracts or policy decisions favourable to their interests had spent up to $10,000 to buy exclusive face-time with the Premier and members of her cabinet over cocktails and dinner at high-end restaurants.

The Liberals refused to release details of the events or who had attended them, but The Globe was able to determine that the party had held 150 small-scale cash-for-access fundraisers in Ms. Wynne’s first three years as Premier.

Attendees included construction firms with government infrastructure contracts, electricity companies seeking to sell power to the province’s grid, insurance companies whose premiums are partly controlled by the government and the banks that made nearly $60-million off the privatization of Hydro One.

As The Globe’s investigation expanded, the newspaper exposed a further cash-for-access system in operation at the federal level in which government stakeholders paid up to $1,500 for access to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his ministers.

At first, Ms. Wynne tried to pass reforms that would have banned corporate and union donations but allowed cash-for-access to continue. Only after further reporting by The Globe did she do a u-turn and opt to clamp down on cash-for-access, too.

The final version of the bill will prohibit the Premier, cabinet ministers, other MPPs, candidates, Premier’s office staff or ministerial chiefs-of-staff from attending fundraisers. They can still attend events in which the ticket price is used purely to cover the costs of the event.

Politicians and their staff will still be allowed to fundraise over the phone or by e-mail, including asking for money from corporate executives, union leaders and lobbyists who do business with government.

The Liberals used their majority on a legislative committee to block a Progressive Conservative amendment that would have prohibited any officer, director or employee of a company doing business with government from donating. The government also blocked an NDP move to ban the premier and cabinet ministers from fundraising in any fashion.

The new rules will bring Ontario into line with the federal government by prohibiting corporations and unions from donating – a practice that has been illegal for more than a decade.

It will also cap donations from individuals at $1,200 to a political party’s central office, $1,200 to its constituency associations and $1,200 to its candidates – an effective cap of $3,600 annually. It also closes a loophole that allowed donors to double their contributions during any election or by-election period.

Under the previous system, donations to central parties were capped at $10,000, but donors could stretch that to more than $30,000 most years by using the election and by-election loophole, and by donating extra to constituency associations and candidates.

The law also brings in the province’s first significant restrictions on third-party advertising.

Under the current system, corporations, unions or wealthy individuals who want to influence an election can spend as much as they like on political advertising.

This led to a number of organizations modelled on American SuperPACs – most notably Working Families, a union-backed group.

As previously revealed by The Globe, unions spent more than $15-million to campaign in the past three general elections, accounting for 94 per cent of all third-party advertising. The unions primarily used their money to run attack ads against the Progressive Conservatives, often with the help of advertising agencies and political consultants tied to the Liberals or the NDP.

The new rules will cap third-party advertising spending and make it harder for third-party advertisers to co-ordinate with each other.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com.....e33121202/
RCO





Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 6283
Reputation: 229.2
votes: 3
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ontario's election financing reform passes unanimously

Legislation bans corporate and union donations and lowers individual limits


Canadian Press

Thursday, December 1st, 2016



TORONTO – Ontario politicians now have one month left to attend fundraising events for their parties before they are banned.

Legislation that dramatically alters the political fundraising landscape in Ontario unanimously passed today, including banning corporate and union donations and lowering individual donation limits.

Though all parties voted in favour of it, the leaders of the Progressive Conservatives and the NDP were quick to remind that the Liberals introduced the bill in the first place amid a cash-for-access scandal.

The Liberals were harshly criticized over fundraising events that saw cabinet ministers attend private, high-priced functions with stakeholders.

Under the new law, which comes into effect Jan. 1, members of provincial parliament, candidates, party leaders, nomination contestants, leadership contestants, chiefs of staff, premier’s staff and other party leaders’ staff are all banned from attending fundraisers.

Politicians could still, however, attend events where the ticket price only recovers the cost of hosting it, and solicit funds by mail, phone or email

http://ipolitics.ca/2016/12/01.....animously/
Bugs





Joined: 16 Dec 2009
Posts: 4151
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votes: 8

PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The fact that it passed unanimously is impressive, with a bill like this.

I take a lot of shots at the media, but this case is an exception. Kudos to the Globe & Mail.

Awhile ago, I made a comparison with how Elections Canada had arranged that a G&M reporter be at the Conservative Party HQ to witness a raid. I never meant that the Globe & Mail was at fault. To the contrary, that's what they're supposed to do. The disapproval was aimed at Elections-Canada, as a supposedly 'neutral' office of government.
RCO





Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 6283
Reputation: 229.2
votes: 3
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:
The fact that it passed unanimously is impressive, with a bill like this.

I take a lot of shots at the media, but this case is an exception. Kudos to the Globe & Mail.

Awhile ago, I made a comparison with how Elections Canada had arranged that a G&M reporter be at the Conservative Party HQ to witness a raid. I never meant that the Globe & Mail was at fault. To the contrary, that's what they're supposed to do. The disapproval was aimed at Elections-Canada, as a supposedly 'neutral' office of government.


although I suspect the rules may be weakened at some point down the road if the parties have trouble raising enough money after the next election , province wide campaigns cost a lot of money and its often harder to raise money once there over . I'm just not sure these new rules are realistic for the long term

also have noticed the globe and mail has done a lot of digging into stories you wouldn't normally expect , like the cash for access fundraisers , it shows there is still some real journalists left at that paper
Bugs





Joined: 16 Dec 2009
Posts: 4151
Reputation: 238.8
votes: 8

PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2016 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is where TVO often leads the way. They are the best at political interviews and handling political campaign debates.

After a certain point, is more paid media a good idea, or is it just canceling out the other guy's ad? The parties will always ask for more, but does that serve the public debate? Or pollute it?

What I am getting at is that the public has to decide -- do they want parties dancing to the tune played by the big corporations, unions, and those seeking special favors? Or do they want to make the politicians come to local communities more, and actually campaign face-to-face? Or, more likely, use social media?
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Ontario's election financing reform bill passes

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