Let’s Have An Inquiry Into Election Donations

Following revelations that Kathleen Wynne, as Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party, has required high ranking cabinet ministers to meet aggressive fundraising targets (up to $500,000 per year), questions continue to swirl at Queen’s Park about what sort of influence political donations may have had on the Liberal government’s decision making process.

As an example, over the last few years, seven renewable energy companies donated $255,000 to the Liberal Party, and in the latest round of renewable procurements all seven of those companies were awarded contracts from the Ministry of Energy.  These contracts were awarded despite the Auditor General confirming that the province is overproducing electricity and selling it at a loss.  Three wind companies with no history of donating to the Liberal Party of Ontario also applied for contracts in the same round or procurement but didn’t receive any contracts.

Furthermore, last week we learned that the Ontario Liberal Party also received at least $400,000 in donations from companies – such as Cisco Systems, the Ford Motor Company, Toyota and Linamar – that received sizeable grants from the Liberal Government.  Since 2004, the Liberal Government has handed out $1.45 billion in government grants and interest-free loans – 80 per cent of which was given out via non-publicly advertised processes.

These facts raise many questions with the people of Ontario.

To clear the air, the Official Opposition PC Caucus has been demanding that Premier Wynne call an official public inquiry to investigate whether government contracts, grants, and contributions awarded to corporations and other entities are connected to the donations made by them to the governing party.

Patrick Brown, the Leader of the Ontario PC Party, also joined with NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, and Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner this week to call on the government to immediately strike a non-partisan panel to study, and suggest, new rules around political party financing, electoral participation, and third party election advertising.

The reality is this government doesn’t want to talk about their past conduct.  The Wynne Liberals are not looking out for the best interests of Ontario; they are looking out for their own political survival.  The people of Ontario deserve the highest standards of integrity from their political leaders.  Integrity is the foundation of trust with the people of Ontario, and the people of Ontario have lost trust in this government.

In other government news, recently it was announced that the old red and white health card would be phased out for those individuals who have yet to convert to the newer photo-id version.  Unfortunately, for many individuals, such as the elderly and medically fragile, the requirement of having to physically visit a ServiceOntario to convert to the new card could be problematic.

As such, the Ministry of Health has provided my office with an exemption form that can be completed by a doctor and then submitted by mail or through my office to ServiceOntario for processing.  Completing the exemption form will remove the requirement for a photo and signature to be captured on the new card.  If this exemption sounds like something you or someone you know would like to take advantage of, please contact the staff in my constituency office for more information.