Liberal Cabinet fundraising may have broken the law: NDP

Ontario New Democrat Deputy Leader Jagmeet Singh, (MPP, Bramalea-Gore-Malton) says Kathleen Wynne’s system of requiring Cabinet Ministers to use their ministerial portfolios in a fundraising quota scheme may have broken Ontario’s integrity laws. Singh has requested that Ontario’s Integrity Commissioner investigate a fundraiser held by Ontario’s Ministers of Finance and Energy with a group that had benefitted from the sell-off of Hydro One, a process led by those same two ministers.

“Today I made an official complaint to Ontario’s Integrity Commissioner. The laws are clear: you can’t use an elected office for a personal benefit, but the Liberal quota scheme seems to be doing just that,” said Singh. “It is clear to most people that the Premier, as the leader of the Liberal Party and head of cabinet, had to have approved of this quota system and may have been directly involved in the assignments.  This quota system was the responsibility of the Premier.”

Ontario’s Member’s Integrity Act says:

6 (1). A member of the Assembly shall not accept a fee, gift or personal benefit that is connected directly or indirectly with the performance of his or her duties of office.

And Ontario’s Legislative Assembly Act says,

41. No member of the Assembly shall knowingly accept or receive, either directly or indirectly, any fee, compensation or reward for or in respect of the drafting, advising upon, revising, promoting or opposing any bill, resolution, matter or thing submitted or intended to be submitted to the Assembly or a committee thereof.

The Liberal Cabinet fundraising quota system requires Cabinet Ministers to raise as much as $500,000. These fundraising quotas are reportedly assigned based on Ministers’ ability to influence budgets and regulation.

“What’s clear is that we need to get the influence of big money out of government and politics in Ontario. But setting the new rules shouldn’t be up to one political party, and that’s why the NDP is calling for a process that’s led by Ontario’s Chief Electoral Officer,” continued Singh. “Ontarians deserve to know why Kathleen Wynne thinks it should be her and the Liberal party making up the new rules at the same time as her Ministerial quota system appears to have broken the Member’s Integrity Act.”

Copy of Addidavit (pdf)