Mike Schreiner, GPO leader, made the following statement today regarding the NDP’s motion to create the Ontario Advisory Panel on Political Finance Reform and Electoral Participation:
“It’s past time to get big money out of politics.
We need to clean up the fundraising mess at Queens Park quickly to restore the public’s confidence in the political process. The GPO’s priority is to work with all parties and the public on solutions. We’ve had constructive and positive meetings with the other opposition parties and with the Premier’s office to try to move solutions forward.
I’m here today to support the principles of the NDP’s motion. We must have a fair process that involves all parties and others to reform Ontario’s political fundraising rules.
I will support this proposal and any proposal, including one from the government, that results in a process that is inclusive, transparent and timely.
I want to see a process that follows these three principles:
- All party and public participation led by an impartial person in the drafting of legislation;
- Committee hearings that seek broad consultation and are conducted in a way that doesn’t allow the government to use its majority to impose its will;
- That draft legislation be presented before the Legislature rises for the summer and be voted on when the Legislatures sits in September.
In my conversations with the NDP, they have indicated that there is no reason that their proposal couldn’t achieve the accelerated timeline we desire.
The GPO is working hard to play a constructive role with all parties, as an honest intermediary, to find compromises that enable us to move forward now with fundraising reforms.
I hold out real hope that we can all find a way to agree on an acceptable process for reform, and that we can reach all party agreement on some key issues:
- Eliminating corporate and union donations;
- Lowering contribution limits;
- And introducing a more democratic form of public financing such as per vote funding, among other reforms.
All of us have an opportunity here to show the public that politics can be done differently, that we can rise above partisanship and reform fundraising rules in way that puts people first.”