News

Get big money out of Ontario politics now

Tue, 03/29/2016 - 13:00

(Queen’s Park) - Ontario should ban corporate and union donations to political parties now.
 
“We need a firm commitment from the Premier to ban corporate and union donations to political parties. Party fundraising quotas for Liberal cabinet ministers must end now,” says GPO leader Mike Schreiner. “Vague promises to transition toward taking down the For Sale sign at Queen’s Park sometime in the future are not good enough.”
 
Schreiner is challenging the Liberal government to move quickly to ban corporate and union donations to political parties in Ontario. Over 700 GPO members and supporters have written to the Premier asking for this as well.
 
“How many more big ticket insider dinners will happen between now and the future date when the Liberals might transition away from corporate and union donations? Are they going to wait until after the next general election in 2018 to make these long-overdue changes?” asks Schreiner. 
 
The Liberals have a history of promising action in response to public pressure, but not always delivering. In 2011, the Liberals promised changes to the rules for aggregate extraction in response to opposition to the proposed Melancthon Mega-quarry. Five years later, the review has taken place, but no changes have been implemented.
 
“Will the Premier’s admission that fundraising rules need reform be yet another example of talk with no action?” asks Schreiner. “The people of Ontario deserve fundraising rules with integrity. We want a system where deep pocketed insiders can’t buy access to political leaders.”
 
The GPO supports campaign finance reforms that ban corporate and union donations, limit third party advertising, lower donation limits and provide partial public financing for eligible parties. 
 
The GPO is also pushing the government to amend the Municipal Elections Act to allow municipalities to ban such donations. The City of Toronto has done this, but other municipalities do not have provincial authority to do it. 
 
The GPO is on a mission to bring honesty, integrity and good public policy to Queen’s Park.
 
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