Kathleen Wynne to meet Patrick Brown, Andrea Horwath on fundraising reforms

News Apr 03, 2016 by Robert Benzie OurWindsor.Ca

Premier Kathleen Wynne will meet with Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath this week to discuss political fundraising reforms in the wake of a Toronto Star probe.

Days after the Star’s Martin Regg Cohn revealed Liberal cabinet ministers have secret annual fundraising targets of up to $500,000 each, Wynne stepped up efforts to finally address the role of money in Ontario politics.

“My government remains committed to enhancing the integrity of the election finance system and protecting the public interest,” the premier wrote Brown and Horwath on Sunday.

“With this in mind, I invite you to join me for a meeting within the next few days to discuss these important issues in more detail,” she said of changes the Liberals plan to introduce this fall.

“After we meet, and once you are able to consult within your parties, I am very interested to receive your formal input on a responsible way forward to reform the current system, including your ideas on legislative and non-legislative mechanisms we could use to develop recommendations to assist us in making these important reforms.”

Wynne said she is “committed to phasing out corporate and union donations to political parties and reducing the amount that individuals can donate.”

That would lower the $9,975 annual cap on contributions and close the loopholes that allow donors to give exponentially more than that during by-elections and party leadership campaigns.

At the same time, the Liberals plan to ban third-party advertising – usually seen in the form of attack ads against the Tories bankrolled by labour unions, which benefit the Grits and the NDP during provincial elections.

Brown wrote to Wynne on Friday, imploring her to strike an all-party select committee this week “to carry out public consultations on reforming both political donations and third-party election advertising.”

As a former Conservative MP, he noted the federal fundraising reforms of a decade ago “allowed for a levelling of the playing field during elections and assured Canadians that the democratic process remained fair, balanced, and devoid of undue influence.”

Last Thursday, Horwath asked Wynne to “seek and obtain widespread consensus beyond the governing party and, indeed, beyond the parties themselves” as changes are devised.

For his part, Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner also wants to outlaw corporate and union donations.

The Liberals have been embarrassed numerous times over the years by press revelations of private fundraisers – the Star disclosed a secret September 2013 $100,000 dinner sponsored by Bruce Power that came as the government was shelving Ontario Power Generation’s new $15-billion nuclear reactors.

But it wasn’t until the Star discovered Finance Minister Charles Sousa and Health Minister Eric Hoskins have an annual “allotment” of up to $500,000 to raise for the Liberals that the province unveiled a timetable for action.

Beyond Sousa and Hoskins, cabinet members like Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli generate around $300,000 for Liberal coffers while other ministers collect $250,000 or so.

On Friday, Wynne insisted the allotments are set by the Ontario Liberal Party and do not conflict with a minister’s day job serving the public.

“We’re a team and . . . we don’t necessarily have a joint conversation about what everyone’s target is. We know that there’s an overall objective in terms of what we need to run the party and to do the work that we need to do, and we all do our bit,” the premier said in Ottawa.

“You’ll have to talk to the party, because it’s the party that raises the money, it’s the party that works with all of the members to support their fundraising efforts, and, as I say, it’s the same across all of the parties at the provincial level,” she said.

Kathleen Wynne

Toronto Star

Kathleen Wynne to meet Patrick Brown, Andrea Horwath on fundraising reforms

Days after the Toronto Star’s Martin Regg Cohn revealed Liberal cabinets ministers have secret annual fundraising targets of up to $500,000 each, Wynne stepped up efforts to finally address the role of money in Ontario politics

News Apr 03, 2016 by Robert Benzie OurWindsor.Ca

Premier Kathleen Wynne will meet with Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath this week to discuss political fundraising reforms in the wake of a Toronto Star probe.

Days after the Star’s Martin Regg Cohn revealed Liberal cabinet ministers have secret annual fundraising targets of up to $500,000 each, Wynne stepped up efforts to finally address the role of money in Ontario politics.

“My government remains committed to enhancing the integrity of the election finance system and protecting the public interest,” the premier wrote Brown and Horwath on Sunday.

“With this in mind, I invite you to join me for a meeting within the next few days to discuss these important issues in more detail,” she said of changes the Liberals plan to introduce this fall.

“After we meet, and once you are able to consult within your parties, I am very interested to receive your formal input on a responsible way forward to reform the current system, including your ideas on legislative and non-legislative mechanisms we could use to develop recommendations to assist us in making these important reforms.”

Wynne said she is “committed to phasing out corporate and union donations to political parties and reducing the amount that individuals can donate.”

That would lower the $9,975 annual cap on contributions and close the loopholes that allow donors to give exponentially more than that during by-elections and party leadership campaigns.

At the same time, the Liberals plan to ban third-party advertising – usually seen in the form of attack ads against the Tories bankrolled by labour unions, which benefit the Grits and the NDP during provincial elections.

Brown wrote to Wynne on Friday, imploring her to strike an all-party select committee this week “to carry out public consultations on reforming both political donations and third-party election advertising.”

As a former Conservative MP, he noted the federal fundraising reforms of a decade ago “allowed for a levelling of the playing field during elections and assured Canadians that the democratic process remained fair, balanced, and devoid of undue influence.”

Last Thursday, Horwath asked Wynne to “seek and obtain widespread consensus beyond the governing party and, indeed, beyond the parties themselves” as changes are devised.

For his part, Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner also wants to outlaw corporate and union donations.

The Liberals have been embarrassed numerous times over the years by press revelations of private fundraisers – the Star disclosed a secret September 2013 $100,000 dinner sponsored by Bruce Power that came as the government was shelving Ontario Power Generation’s new $15-billion nuclear reactors.

But it wasn’t until the Star discovered Finance Minister Charles Sousa and Health Minister Eric Hoskins have an annual “allotment” of up to $500,000 to raise for the Liberals that the province unveiled a timetable for action.

Beyond Sousa and Hoskins, cabinet members like Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli generate around $300,000 for Liberal coffers while other ministers collect $250,000 or so.

On Friday, Wynne insisted the allotments are set by the Ontario Liberal Party and do not conflict with a minister’s day job serving the public.

“We’re a team and . . . we don’t necessarily have a joint conversation about what everyone’s target is. We know that there’s an overall objective in terms of what we need to run the party and to do the work that we need to do, and we all do our bit,” the premier said in Ottawa.

“You’ll have to talk to the party, because it’s the party that raises the money, it’s the party that works with all of the members to support their fundraising efforts, and, as I say, it’s the same across all of the parties at the provincial level,” she said.

Kathleen Wynne

Toronto Star

Kathleen Wynne to meet Patrick Brown, Andrea Horwath on fundraising reforms

Days after the Toronto Star’s Martin Regg Cohn revealed Liberal cabinets ministers have secret annual fundraising targets of up to $500,000 each, Wynne stepped up efforts to finally address the role of money in Ontario politics

News Apr 03, 2016 by Robert Benzie OurWindsor.Ca

Premier Kathleen Wynne will meet with Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath this week to discuss political fundraising reforms in the wake of a Toronto Star probe.

Days after the Star’s Martin Regg Cohn revealed Liberal cabinet ministers have secret annual fundraising targets of up to $500,000 each, Wynne stepped up efforts to finally address the role of money in Ontario politics.

“My government remains committed to enhancing the integrity of the election finance system and protecting the public interest,” the premier wrote Brown and Horwath on Sunday.

“With this in mind, I invite you to join me for a meeting within the next few days to discuss these important issues in more detail,” she said of changes the Liberals plan to introduce this fall.

“After we meet, and once you are able to consult within your parties, I am very interested to receive your formal input on a responsible way forward to reform the current system, including your ideas on legislative and non-legislative mechanisms we could use to develop recommendations to assist us in making these important reforms.”

Wynne said she is “committed to phasing out corporate and union donations to political parties and reducing the amount that individuals can donate.”

That would lower the $9,975 annual cap on contributions and close the loopholes that allow donors to give exponentially more than that during by-elections and party leadership campaigns.

At the same time, the Liberals plan to ban third-party advertising – usually seen in the form of attack ads against the Tories bankrolled by labour unions, which benefit the Grits and the NDP during provincial elections.

Brown wrote to Wynne on Friday, imploring her to strike an all-party select committee this week “to carry out public consultations on reforming both political donations and third-party election advertising.”

As a former Conservative MP, he noted the federal fundraising reforms of a decade ago “allowed for a levelling of the playing field during elections and assured Canadians that the democratic process remained fair, balanced, and devoid of undue influence.”

Last Thursday, Horwath asked Wynne to “seek and obtain widespread consensus beyond the governing party and, indeed, beyond the parties themselves” as changes are devised.

For his part, Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner also wants to outlaw corporate and union donations.

The Liberals have been embarrassed numerous times over the years by press revelations of private fundraisers – the Star disclosed a secret September 2013 $100,000 dinner sponsored by Bruce Power that came as the government was shelving Ontario Power Generation’s new $15-billion nuclear reactors.

But it wasn’t until the Star discovered Finance Minister Charles Sousa and Health Minister Eric Hoskins have an annual “allotment” of up to $500,000 to raise for the Liberals that the province unveiled a timetable for action.

Beyond Sousa and Hoskins, cabinet members like Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli generate around $300,000 for Liberal coffers while other ministers collect $250,000 or so.

On Friday, Wynne insisted the allotments are set by the Ontario Liberal Party and do not conflict with a minister’s day job serving the public.

“We’re a team and . . . we don’t necessarily have a joint conversation about what everyone’s target is. We know that there’s an overall objective in terms of what we need to run the party and to do the work that we need to do, and we all do our bit,” the premier said in Ottawa.

“You’ll have to talk to the party, because it’s the party that raises the money, it’s the party that works with all of the members to support their fundraising efforts, and, as I say, it’s the same across all of the parties at the provincial level,” she said.

Kathleen Wynne

Toronto Star