Fighting Privatization

It’s in their DNA

They build on great relationships... it's in their DNA

OPSEU has unveiled a new booklet which spells out the close links between leaders in the Ontario Liberal party and their advisors and the well-connected bankers, lawyers and big construction companies that benefit from privatized Public Private Partnerships (P3s).

Download It's in their DNA.pdf

They Build on Great Relationships…The Liberal Family Tree

The London Connection

David Peterson

(Premier of Ontario, 1985-1990)

First elected in 1975 in London Centre, named Liberal Leader in 1982. Now senior partner with Bay Street law firm Cassels, Brock & Blackwell LLP where he recruited privatizer Mike Harris (Tory premier 1995-2002() as an advisor..

Close with Don Smith, founder of building giant EllisDon, Liberal Party president 1985-87 and chief fundraiser for the Liberals. Peterson credits Smith with helping him restore the Liberal Party after 42 Tory years.

Peterson has maintained close ties to the Liberals. He advised Dalton McGuinty throughout the latter’s time as premier (2003-2013)

He has served on the boards of Rogers Communications and Shoppers Drug Mart (while it was being acquired by Loblaws).

Chair of the Pan Am Games organizing committee.

Shelley Peterson

Wife of David Peterson and sister of Deb Matthews.

Deb Matthews

(Deputy Premier and President of the Treasury Board)

Party activist since 1975 when she helped run David Peterson’s successful campaign in London Centre. In 1987 and 1995 she co-chaired the Liberal Party’s provincial campaign (her co-chair in the 1987 campaign was David McNaughton). President of the Ontario Liberal Party (2003-2006).

Elected for London North Centre in 2003 and held cabinet posts in the McGuinty and Wynne governments.

As Minister of Health and Long-Term Care (2009-2014) she presided over the Ornge Air Ambulance scandal. As President of the Treasury Board she is mandated to oversee debt reduction, including reducing the cost of public services  and managing public sector compensation.

Don Smith

(founder EllisDon, 1924-2013)-

Smith founded construction giant EllisDon (whose slogan is “We build on great relationships”) with his brother David Ellis Smith in 1951. President of the Ontario Liberal Party and chief fundraiser (1985-1987). He is credited with raising $11 million for the 1987 election which saw David Peterson win a majority.

Geoff Smith, son of Don and Joan Smith,  President and CEO of EllisDon and director of the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships.

Joan Smith

(Solicitor General, 1987-89, Government Whip 1989-1990)

Joan Smith, wife of Don Smith, city councilor in London (1976-1985). Elected to the legislature in 1985. David Peterson appointed her Solicitor General in 1987.

Smith was forced to resign from her cabinet following heavy criticism over intervening in a police investigation involving a constituent. This may have strained relations between the Petersons and the Smiths.

The Bay Street Connection

David Peterson, QC

(Premier of Ontario, 1985-1990)

Senior Partner and Chairman of Bay Street law firm Cassels, Brock and Blackwell LLP. He advises clients on government relations and international trade.

Peterson sits on the boards of Rogers Communications, Shoppers Drug Mart, Franco-Nevada Corporation and Industrial Alliance and Financial Services Inc., and is chair of the Toronto Pan Am Games organizing committee. Described as “the best-connected board member in the country.”

Dwight Duncan

(Minister of Finance, 2005-06, 2007-13)

First elected from Windsor in 1995. Held high-profile posts in the McGuinty government: Minister of Energy, 2003-2005; Minister of Finance, 2005-2006; Minister of Energy, 2006-2007; Minister of Revenue, 2008-2009; Minister of Government Services, 2012-2013; Minister of Finance, 2007-2013; Chair of the Management Board of Cabinet, 2005-2006, 2007-2013; Leader of the Government in the Ontario Legislature, 2003-2005

In 2013, Duncan became a Senior Strategic Advisor with McMIllan LLP, a leading Bay Street law firm. McMillan is one of Canada’s leading legal advisors to the business sector. Duncan’s experience provided a unique perspective given that “finance drives the public policy environment in which business operates.”

Tim Murphy

(MPP (1993-1995), P3 lawyer and strategic advisor)

When Lyn McLeod left as Ontario Liberal Leader in 1996, Murphy supported Dwight Duncan.

Murphy practiced law with McCarthy-Tetrault (1995-2001), a prominent Bay Street law firm specializing in business law, and later public-private partnerships. McCarthy-Tetrault has advised on 21 P3 contracts worth $10.7 billion.

In 2001, Murphy became a Senior Political Advisor to Federal Finance Minister Paul Martin. When Paul Martin became Prime Minister, Murphy became chief of staff (2003-2006) returning to Bay Street to practice law with McMillan LLP.

He specializes in public private partnerships. Murphy is Co-Chair of McMillan’s Project Finance, Infrastructure and Energy, Government Relations, Power and Aboriginal Law Groups. He teaches Law and Policy of Public-Private Partnerships at the University of Toronto.

In 2013, Premier Kathleen Wynne appointed Tim Murphy as co-chair of her provincial campaign team alongside Deb Matthews.

Ed Clark

(former President and CEO TD Bank Group, strategic advisor)

Clark held several senior positions in the Federal government from 1974-1985, including playing a key role in the National Energy Program.

Clark had a successful career in finance in the private sector. Until 2002, he was President and CEO of Canada Trust. In 2000, he played a critical role in its merger with TD Bank. He was President and CEO of TD Bank Group (2002-2014). TD Bank has been involved with 11 P3 contracts totaling $1.8 billion.

In 2014, Premier Kathleen Wynne named Ed Clark, to lead her advisory council on government assets. The council reviewed Hydro One, OPG and the LCBO with an eye to “maximizing value” of these critical assets.  The council’s report recommended expanding the sale of alcohol and privatizing parts of the electricity distribution sector.

The Builders

Bert Clark

(President and CEO Infrastructure Ontario)

Son of Ed Clark. A lawyer, Bert Clark served as a senior policy advisor to former Premier Dalton McGuinty (2003-2005). He played a key role in establishing Ontario’s long-term infrastructure plan and developing the concept of “alternative finance and procurement” (or P3s).

Following his stint with McGuinty, Clark served as senior vice-president of projects at Infrastructure Ontario (IO). In this capacity, Clark established IO’s procurement practices designed to ensure “public infrastructure projects were completed on time and on budget.” He served under President and CEO David Livingston. Livingston would later become McGuinty’s chief of staff and be a key figure in the gas plant scandal.

Clark served as Managing Director at Scotiabank Global Banking and Markets for four years. He was also head of Scotiabank’s Infrastructure Advisory Team. Scotiabank was involved in six P3 contracts totaling $4.2 billion.

In 2012, Clark was tapped by the Liberal government to succeed David Livingston as President and CEO of Infrastructure Ontario.

Clark also serves on the board of the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships (CCPPP), a national not-for-profit organization that promotes infrastructure development and the use of public-private partnerships nationwide.

Geoff Smith

(former Chair of the Ontario Liberal Fund, President and CEO EllisDon)

Geoff Smith, son of Don and Joan Smith, took over at EllisDon after his father, EllisDon founder and former Ontario Liberal Party president Don Smith, retired in 1996.

Under his leadership, EllisDon (“We build on great relationships”) became a major proponent of public-private partnerships. Over the last decade the company has expanded its capacities to include project finance, building operations and facility management and project design.

Adopting the new public-private partnerships meant getting into financing and facilities management. To date EllisDon has built and financed 22 of the 79 P3 projects overseen by Infrastructure Ontario. The total value of those contracts is $7 billion.

Since 2004, EllisDon has been the Ontario Liberal Party’s top corporate donor.  Smith chaired the Ontario Liberal Fund, the fundraising arm of the party, for four years in the mid-2000s.

From 2004-2014, the Liberals received $388,063 from corporations held by EllisDon.  In the last five years alone, the Liberals have received $158,675 from 11 separate corporate entities registered to EllisDon.

In 2009, Smith served with president and CEO of Infrastructure Ontario David Livingston during the eHealth scandal. At that time eHealth Ontario was accused of handing out more than $16 million in sole-sourced contracts to consultants. Several board members, including Smith, resigned during the scandal.

David Livingston 

(President and CEO Infrastructure Ontario 2005-2012)

Livingston spent 30 years with TD Bank. In his last role with the bank, he was executive vice-president of corporate development and reported directly to CEO, Ed Clark.

In November 2005, Livingston became the first president and CEO of the newly formed crown agency Infrastructure Ontario. The agency was formed to manage Ontario’s major infrastructure projects using the alternative financing and procurement model.

From 2008 to 2012, Livingston served on the board of directors for eHealth Ontario, alongside EllisDon president and CEO Geoff Smith, during the eHealth scandal.

In 2012, Livingston was appointed by McGuinty to serve as his chief of staff.

Real family does not come from your blood. It is the people standing beside you when no one else is –

The symbiotic relationship between the Liberal government and the private sector has proven quite lucrative for all involved. The Ontario Liberal Party has benefitted greatly from corporate donations and the private sector has been rewarded with billions of dollars in government contracts.

The family compact is alive and well.

Corporate Donations to the Ontario Liberal Party, 2010-2014

EllisDon   $158,675

Aecon $88,345

Bruce Power $67,350

Bank of Montreal  $64,875

SNC-Lavalin  $48,520

Bondfield Construction $46,505

PCL Constructors   $39,475

Scotiabank    $37,925

Plenary Group   $35,875

Borealis Infrastructure   $34,550

Royal Bank of Canada $33,994

TD Bank   $31,375

Fengate Capital Management  $30,800

Source: Elections Ontario, Contributions to Political Parties


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