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Thomas: What are Liberals hiding on election finance reform?


Toronto– The Ontario Liberal Party is dodging public scrutiny of its new election finance bill because the loopholes it contains are meant to give the party an edge in the 2018 election, the President of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) suggests.

“The Liberals got caught with their hand in the cookie jar, leaning on stakeholders for donations in exchange for access to ministers,” said Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “Then they tried to distract the public with a set of reforms that would have done nothing to stop ministers from using their portfolios to fund their party’s re-election campaign.

“Only after public outcry did they promise to change the rules yet again,” he said. “But after months of promising, they still won’t tell anyone what the new rules will be.”

Earlier this year, in the wake of media and public outrage over cash-for-access fundraising by cabinet ministers, the Liberals introduced Bill 2 (then Bill 201) with the stated intent of rebuilding public trust in the system. As outlined in OPSEU’s response, however, the proposed bill would have allowed the same cash-for-access fundraising that had created the need for the bill in the first place.

“After repeatedly being caught lying through their teeth, the Liberals no longer have any credibility,” said Thomas. “Yet despite this, they have the audacity to tell the public, and the opposition, to trust them.

“Too bad they’ve lost the public’s trust. Without seeing the Bill 2 amendments, there’s no way to know how they might have tried to rig the game this time.”

Thomas called on the Premier to come clean on her plans and “reveal the real Bill 2.

“If you want the public’s trust, show us you deserve it.”

For more information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931