Hamilton Liberal minister Ted McMeekin reject calls for inquiry into fundraising reform

News Apr 15, 2016 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Hamilton Liberal cabinet minister Ted McMeekin slapped down Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown’s call for the government to hold a public inquiry on fundraising reform.

He said Premier Kathleen Wynne met with Brown and NDP leader Andrea Horwath about her proposed legislation last week, but neither wanted to contribute to the process.

“The reality is political parties need to raise money in support of election campaigns and the party apparatus,” said McMeekin, minister of municipal affairs and housing. “So there is no need for an inquiry. The premier of our party has paradoxically been on top of this for a year.”

Brown last week called his meeting with Wynne a “sham” and repeated his calls to create an all-party select committee. Horwath said Wynne should have consulted more stakeholders before introducing legislation.

Horwath stated that she left the meeting “disappointed” after discovering Wynne wasn’t ready to “discuss a process that would give Ontarians the confidence they deserve that the deck isn’t stacked against them.”

McMeekin said after the meetings with Brown and Horwath, “it appears (the premier) was the only one prepared. The other two are lamenting that they want more opportunity.”

Wynne’s proposals include banning corporate and union donations from political parties starting Jan. 1, 2017; reduce the annual donation cap from $9,975 to $1,525; banning the ability of parties to raise money during a byelection campaign; and establish maximum spending limits on third-party advertising, which will impact the Working Families coalition of unions that has become a thorn in the side of the Tories.

McMeekin said Brown and his party has benefited from the current fundraising rules “when he accessed all kinds of money with the same set of rules that the rest of us have to operate with.”

The minister said Attorney-General Madeleine Meilleur will be introducing the legislation prior to the Legislature rising for the summer on June 9. McMeekin said he hopes the propose bill passes first and second readings so the government can hold public consultations on the issue during the summer.

“It’s important we have that engagement,” he said.

Also part of the fundraising reform is the idea of adopting subsidized elections, as the federal government has done. If Ontario adopts the federal per-vote subsidy of around $2 per ballot cast, the Liberals would receive $3.72 million; the Tories $3.01 million; NDP $2.29 million and the Greens $465,000.

McMeekin said he is “not a fan” of subsidizing campaigns, but “I think that’s where we are headed. That’s where we are going to have any semblance of intelligent discussion and debate.

He said the public should be aware that at the federal level, fundraising reform has cost taxpayers “a lot more money” that it did before to fund election campaigns.

“It’s important that people understand if you are going to take apart the existing rules, you need to put something in place,” he said.

 

Hamilton Liberal minister Ted McMeekin reject calls for inquiry into fundraising reform

News Apr 15, 2016 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Hamilton Liberal cabinet minister Ted McMeekin slapped down Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown’s call for the government to hold a public inquiry on fundraising reform.

He said Premier Kathleen Wynne met with Brown and NDP leader Andrea Horwath about her proposed legislation last week, but neither wanted to contribute to the process.

“The reality is political parties need to raise money in support of election campaigns and the party apparatus,” said McMeekin, minister of municipal affairs and housing. “So there is no need for an inquiry. The premier of our party has paradoxically been on top of this for a year.”

Brown last week called his meeting with Wynne a “sham” and repeated his calls to create an all-party select committee. Horwath said Wynne should have consulted more stakeholders before introducing legislation.

Horwath stated that she left the meeting “disappointed” after discovering Wynne wasn’t ready to “discuss a process that would give Ontarians the confidence they deserve that the deck isn’t stacked against them.”

McMeekin said after the meetings with Brown and Horwath, “it appears (the premier) was the only one prepared. The other two are lamenting that they want more opportunity.”

Wynne’s proposals include banning corporate and union donations from political parties starting Jan. 1, 2017; reduce the annual donation cap from $9,975 to $1,525; banning the ability of parties to raise money during a byelection campaign; and establish maximum spending limits on third-party advertising, which will impact the Working Families coalition of unions that has become a thorn in the side of the Tories.

McMeekin said Brown and his party has benefited from the current fundraising rules “when he accessed all kinds of money with the same set of rules that the rest of us have to operate with.”

The minister said Attorney-General Madeleine Meilleur will be introducing the legislation prior to the Legislature rising for the summer on June 9. McMeekin said he hopes the propose bill passes first and second readings so the government can hold public consultations on the issue during the summer.

“It’s important we have that engagement,” he said.

Also part of the fundraising reform is the idea of adopting subsidized elections, as the federal government has done. If Ontario adopts the federal per-vote subsidy of around $2 per ballot cast, the Liberals would receive $3.72 million; the Tories $3.01 million; NDP $2.29 million and the Greens $465,000.

McMeekin said he is “not a fan” of subsidizing campaigns, but “I think that’s where we are headed. That’s where we are going to have any semblance of intelligent discussion and debate.

He said the public should be aware that at the federal level, fundraising reform has cost taxpayers “a lot more money” that it did before to fund election campaigns.

“It’s important that people understand if you are going to take apart the existing rules, you need to put something in place,” he said.

 

Hamilton Liberal minister Ted McMeekin reject calls for inquiry into fundraising reform

News Apr 15, 2016 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Hamilton Liberal cabinet minister Ted McMeekin slapped down Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown’s call for the government to hold a public inquiry on fundraising reform.

He said Premier Kathleen Wynne met with Brown and NDP leader Andrea Horwath about her proposed legislation last week, but neither wanted to contribute to the process.

“The reality is political parties need to raise money in support of election campaigns and the party apparatus,” said McMeekin, minister of municipal affairs and housing. “So there is no need for an inquiry. The premier of our party has paradoxically been on top of this for a year.”

Brown last week called his meeting with Wynne a “sham” and repeated his calls to create an all-party select committee. Horwath said Wynne should have consulted more stakeholders before introducing legislation.

Horwath stated that she left the meeting “disappointed” after discovering Wynne wasn’t ready to “discuss a process that would give Ontarians the confidence they deserve that the deck isn’t stacked against them.”

McMeekin said after the meetings with Brown and Horwath, “it appears (the premier) was the only one prepared. The other two are lamenting that they want more opportunity.”

Wynne’s proposals include banning corporate and union donations from political parties starting Jan. 1, 2017; reduce the annual donation cap from $9,975 to $1,525; banning the ability of parties to raise money during a byelection campaign; and establish maximum spending limits on third-party advertising, which will impact the Working Families coalition of unions that has become a thorn in the side of the Tories.

McMeekin said Brown and his party has benefited from the current fundraising rules “when he accessed all kinds of money with the same set of rules that the rest of us have to operate with.”

The minister said Attorney-General Madeleine Meilleur will be introducing the legislation prior to the Legislature rising for the summer on June 9. McMeekin said he hopes the propose bill passes first and second readings so the government can hold public consultations on the issue during the summer.

“It’s important we have that engagement,” he said.

Also part of the fundraising reform is the idea of adopting subsidized elections, as the federal government has done. If Ontario adopts the federal per-vote subsidy of around $2 per ballot cast, the Liberals would receive $3.72 million; the Tories $3.01 million; NDP $2.29 million and the Greens $465,000.

McMeekin said he is “not a fan” of subsidizing campaigns, but “I think that’s where we are headed. That’s where we are going to have any semblance of intelligent discussion and debate.

He said the public should be aware that at the federal level, fundraising reform has cost taxpayers “a lot more money” that it did before to fund election campaigns.

“It’s important that people understand if you are going to take apart the existing rules, you need to put something in place,” he said.