Billings councillor raises concerns with Liberal fundraising practices

KAGAWONG—Billings Township Councillor Brian Parker says if the premier of Ontario and her party can hold lavish party fundraising dinners supplicating big business and big labour for events such as the Heritage Dinner held last week, this money should instead be used to benefit Ontario, not the party itself. He raised concerns with cabinet ministers being assigned secret fundraising targets as high as $500,000 each.

“Mayors, reeve and councillors are kept under tight wraps in terms of fundraising and unaudited elections,” stated Councillor Parker. “If anything is not done properly we can end up having to go to court.”

“Meanwhile Kathleen Wynne and the government have carte blanche and can do basically whatever they want to do,” asserted Councillor Parker. “They can charge so much for a fundraising dinner and ask ministers to collect money for the (Ontario) Liberal party. Basically the government is prostituting itself and circumventing provincial rules, and they are going way overboard in doing it.”

The premier and the (Ontario) Liberal Party raised approximately $2.5 million for the party through its Heritage dinner last week, with Victory Tables priced at $18,000 for corporate and union high flyers, with the biggest donors being invited to a private cocktail reception hosted by the premier. As well, it has been reported that cabinet ministers in Ontario are assigned secret targets as high as $500,000 a year.

“If the Premier and the government are allowed to raise this kind of money, why can they use this money to do something for the province and its people, like use the money to pay off the debts incurred with the hydro electric plants being closed off,” said Councillor Parker.

“My point is they should be using these funds they raise for things like paying off the hydro bill for the hydro electricity plants that the Liberal government shut down,” said Councillor Parker. “Then the money would at least be going toward a good investment and not just profits for the party. They could even lower our hydro bills.”

“You can’t tell me that the government does not help all those corporations, construction companies and  others that attend these fundraising dinners when they want something,” added Councillor Parker. “It just shows the lack of credibility of Premier Wynne and her party. Only the (Ontario) Liberal party benefitted from this event with the money going into the party’s coffers, not the province of Ontario.”