Posted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:37 am Post subject: Energy execs host $5000-a-plate fundraise for Wynne
Energy sector executives hosting $5,000-a-plate fundraiser for Kathleen Wynne
High-rollers in the energy sector are being invited to an exclusive $5,000-a-head fundraiser Premier Kathleen Wynne, the Star has learned.
Hosted by power industry executives, the March 27 event promises to be an intimate affair at the chi-chi Rosewater on Toronto St.
The three-course dinner “with everyone seated around a single table” will be a chance for well-heeled insiders to rub shoulders with Wynne and newly minted Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli.
“No more than 22 tickets will be offered for this event. Tickets will be $5,000 each, with tax receipts provided,” according to an email invitation from Tina Arvanitis, vice-president of communications and stakeholder relations at the Ontario Energy Association.
“This will be the first opportunity to sit down and speak to both Premier Wynne and Minister Chiarelli on energy-related issues,” she wrote.
In an interview, Arvanitis emphasized the evening is not hosted by the OEA, an energy industry umbrella association, but by “a group of us in the sector that is putting these together.”
She noted a similar private fundraiser was held Jan. 23 for Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak and an offer is out to host one for NDP Leader Andrea Horwath.
The Hudak dinner was also at the Rosewater and the 22 guests were charged $2,000 a plate with proceeds going to the Tories.
Arvanitis said the Wynne event has already sold out, meaning the Liberals should easily net six figures after costs are covered.
“It’s not a big deal. These fundraisers happen all the time so I don’t know why this one’s a story and not the other thousands of them that are happening,” she said.
“Lots of people hold fundraisers for Andrea, for Tim, and for Dalton it was the same thing.”
But the event is noteworthy because it is believed to be the first such fundraiser for Wynne since she officially succeeded former premier Dalton McGuinty on Feb. 11.
Stressing “strong political parties are an important part of our parliamentary democracy,” Ontario Liberal Party vice-president Christine McMillan said there is nothing untoward about raising money for elections.
“As leader of the Ontario Liberal Party, Premier Wynne periodically participates in fundraisers with different groups around the province,” said McMillan.
“It is our understanding that this same organization has recently done a fundraiser for MPP Hudak and has committed to one with MPP Horwath in the future.”
Next month’s dinner comes as the new leader is trying to clean up the mess she inherited from predecessor McGuinty over cancelled gas-fired plants in Mississauga and Oakville that cost taxpayers at least $230 million.
“I’ve been clear that I was not in the room where the decision was made,” the premier said Wednesday.
“I was not part of the decision to cancel that gas plant, but that I’m part of the government and the implications of that and the activities and the costs associated with that obviously came to cabinet and I was part of cabinet.”
Private energy companies were among the big donors to Wynne’s recent Liberal leadership campaign.
According to Elections Ontario, Bruce Power and Niagara Region Wind Corporation each contributed $5,000; Northland Power forked over $3,500; Samsung Renewable Energy gave $2,000; and Enbridge Gas Distribution donated $1,000.
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Posted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:57 am Post subject: Re: Energy execs host $5000-a-plate fundraise for Wynne
Does the fact that they held one for Hudak make it OK?
Its within the rules of Fundraising, and while I personal hate the energy policy of the OLP and it drives me crazy to think about the energy deficit we are being placed in,
There is nothing going on here that we have not seen happen before.
Hudak is screaming for an election, all three parties are in fund-raise mode and while I want to find fault in this particular event, its well within the rules.
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Energy execs host $5000-a-plate fundraise for Wynne