In the dying days of the last Liberal dynasty, I documented how fundraising had reached a fever pitch — with frenzied ministers weighed down by donation quotas adding up to hundreds of thousands of dollars just to keep their seat at the cabinet table. Pressured into action, then-premier Kathleen Wynne imposed tough new rules to reform Ontario’s “wild west” of fundraising.
In 2016, her government prohibited corporate and union contributions. It backed up the ban with a requirement that all donors sign a formal declaration that they weren’t getting around the ban by slyly funnelling big money through individual donations from various corporate officers of the same company.
Upon taking power, the Ford government bizarrely revoked the required declaration. It’s still illegal to subvert the ban yet, strangely, the Tories no longer require you to pledge compliance in writing (lest you be held to it?).
Wynne’s campaign finance reforms offered