QUEEN’S PARK — Taras Natyshak's bill to stop the government from using public money for partisan political advertising has passed a critical hurdle with a successful second reading vote. Now, the Conservatives need to follow through, and ensure that the bill — which they themselves first tabled when the Liberals were in government — becomes a law.
“Ontarians don’t want their tax dollars wasted on ads that spout the misleading rhetoric of Doug Ford’s partisan agenda,” Natyshak said. “The Wynne Liberals dragged Ontarians backwards when they gutted the Auditor General’s power to veto partisan ads. The Conservatives have sunk to a new low, spending thousands of public dollars on gas pump stickers that promote Ford’s blatantly partisan agenda.”
In the legislature Thursday, the Ford government voted with the NDP to pass the bill in the second-reading stage. While that's a critical vote that keeps the bill alive, it needs to be put back on the legislature's agenda so it can be voted on a third and final time to become a law — and the Ford government controls that agenda.
The End the Public Funding of Partisan Government Advertising Act was tabled initially by the Conservatives' deputy leader Sylvia Jones when that party wanted to stop the Wynne Liberals from buying self-serving ads with public money.
“For Ontarians to stop being the unwilling patrons of Doug Ford’s propaganda, the government needs to take action to pass this bill into law, not let it die on the order paper," said Natyshak.
"Ontarians deserve a government that puts their tax dollars towards the things families need — education, health care and a climate change strategy. Not a government that siphons off cash to print stickers for gas pumps as a favour to Andrew Scheer."