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Ford drags election laws backward to silence his critics, and get more cash: NDP
Published on February 25, 2021
QUEEN’S PARK — Taras Natyshak, the Official Opposition Ethics critic, says Doug Ford’s planned changes to elections laws are a massive cash grab, and an obvious attempt to silence his critics.
Natyshak said Ford’s move to double individual donation amount allowances is also a huge step backwards for Ontario, which lived through an era of scandalous cash-for-access fundraising under Liberal governments.
“In the midst of a pandemic where people desperately need help, Doug Ford’s trying to bring back big money in politics by letting deep-pocketed donors double the amount they give to politicians. Instead of focusing on the devastation of COVID-19 he’s focussed on his re-election effort,” said Natyshak. “The Liberals tried to rack up big money with cash for access, and now the Ford Conservatives are doing anything they can to get more cash out of each land baron and big business tycoon that’s got their back.”
The bill also restricts community groups' ability to speak out for a full year before an election with extended third-party advertising rules.
“At a time when long-term care advocates, organizations of health leaders, and the families of nursing home residents are speaking up about the horrors in long-term care, it looks like Ford is trying to silence his critics,” said Natyshak.
The Ontario NDP received 90,000 individual donations in 2020 — more than all other parties combined — with an average donation amount of just $29. Raising election donation limits is beneficial to a party that receives fewer, higher donations – like the Liberals (average donation of $146) and the Conservatives (average donation of $359).