Kingston Hearings Show Liberal Campaign Finance Bill Still Needs Work

KINGSTON – Today Ontario PC Attorney General Critic Randy Hillier (MPP, Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington) and Ontario PC Deputy Leader Steve Clark (MPP, Leeds-Grenville) continued to call on the Liberal Government to strengthen the loopholes in Bill 201, Election Finances Statute Law Amendment Act, 2016.


“We heard the same concerns here today in Kingston that we have heard from residents from across Ontario,” said Hillier. “There are serious issues that the Liberals’ bill to clean up Ontario’s political finance reform doesn’t go nearly far enough, and continues to allow and encourage significant loopholes.” 

The Standing Committee on General Government is holding public hearings throughout the province, where citizens have the opportunity to comment on or provide evidence relating to election financing reform. Today’s stop in Kingston is the first opportunity for residents to share their thoughts and concerns. 

Former Liberal Cabinet Minister and Mayor of Kingston, John Gerretsen, was among those that presented at Committee today and urged Members that any proposed legislation must get money out of politics. In a Toronto Star article published on March 29, 2016, Gerretsen talked about his time as a Liberal cabinet minister and said, “I hated the whole aspect of fundraising.  If a major issue comes up, and you have been funded by lobbyists on behalf of any kind of industry, you’re going to be affected by that…it’s human nature.”

“Today we saw further proof why the Wynne Liberal Government wanted this legislation drafted behind closed doors,” said Hillier. “They wanted to control the process so they could control the outcome, ensuring the new system only benefits themselves. They were forced to bring in these reforms because they got caught.”

“The Ontario PC Caucus remains committed to developing political financing laws that create a level playing field and are in the best interests of Ontarians, not the Wynne Liberals own political survival,” added Steve Clark.