Open letter to Premier Wynne: Get big money out of Ontario politics
Dear Premier Wynne:
Your government needs to take action now to get big money out of Ontario politics.
People will not trust government decisions if there is a for sale sign up at Queen’s Park. How can people have confidence in your integrity when the Liberal party assigns cabinet ministers fundraising quotas - as high as $500,000 per year?
Did your $100,000 private dinner with Bruce Power influence your government’s decision to sign a multi-billion dollar non-tendered contract to rebuild the Bruce Nuclear Station? Was your decision to privatize Hydro One affected by the $7500-a-plate event that was hosted by the bank that profited from it? How many of the 100-plus companies given free permits to pollute under your cap-and-trade plan donate to the Liberal party?
Until this mess is cleaned up, you will continue to face these kinds of questions.
I disagree that these fundraising practices are, as you have said, “part of the democratic process.” We need change now, not vague promises about what you will do in the future.
Like many Ontarians, I’m especially disappointed that your party seems to be ramping up efforts to shake down big donors today, even as you are promising reform tomorrow. I understand that change takes time, but you should have the decency to stop your most egregious fundraising practices while you change the rules.
We need a firm commitment from you that your government will bring in comprehensive reform, including the elimination of corporate and union donations, before the next election. In addition you can, and you should, act immediately to end the unseemly practice of selling access to Ministers of the Crown.
The Green Party of Ontario has always directed its fundraising to individuals at the grassroots. We know it can be done.
Premier, I’m eager to work with you to clean up Ontario’s fundraising rules. I urge you to listen to our call for swift action. I encourage you to consult all parties, experts and public interest groups on the most democratic way to fund political parties.
I’m available to discuss our ideas for reform in more detail.