PREPARE FOR NEW FINANCING RULES THE NEXT TIME WE GO TO THE POLLS
The Ontario Government has passed the Municipal Elections Modernization Act, 2016 which incorporates several changes including new rules for both electors and candidates, as well as roles for municipal clerks and councils.
Specifically, the changes help ensure that rules for municipal elections are consistent with transparent, accountable, fair and modern election finance practices. Examples include banning corporate and union contributions to council candidates in every municipality across the province, and providing for regulation to set out spending limits on post-campaign spending on gifts and parties. The ban on corporate and union contributions would also apply to contributions to school board trustees.
Last month, the Ontario Government also introduced the Election Finances Statute Law Amendment Act. Following its introduction, the bill went straight to the Standing Committee on General Government which will hold public hearings on the bill over the course of this summer.
The proposed changes in the bill include:
- Banning corporate and union donations
- Placing new limits on individual donations to a political party, candidate, constituency association, nomination contestant, and leadership contestant;
o $1,550 to a party each year
o $1,550 to a candidate, to a maximum of $3,100 to the candidates of a party in an election period
o $1,550 to a constituency association and nomination contestant, to a maximum of $3,100 to the constituency associations and nomination contestants of a party each year
o $1,550 to each leadership contestant of a party annually from registration and during a leadership contest
- Capping third party spending on political advertising, and introducing anti-collusion measures; and
- Creating a $2.26 per-vote allowance for political parties based on the number of votes they receive in the previous general election.
The government has emphasized that these are draft rules, and notes in its press release that the public consultations and committee examinations could lead to “amendments that may dramatically alter its scope.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Director of Research,
Ontario Construction Secretariat (OCS)
180 Attwell Drive, Suite 360, Toronto, ON M9W 6A9
P 416.620.5210 ext. 222