VIDEO: Will Premier Introduce Legislation to Limit Third Party Advertising?
(March 31st, 2015) Third party advertisers should not have preferential treatment during an election campaign, Interim PC Leader Jim Wilson said today. "Campaign finance rules are there to help create somewhat of a level playing field and to limit the degree to which money can be used to influence the outcome of an election," said Wilson. The third biggest spender in the last Ontario election – Working Families Coalition – spent $2.6 million. "That is more than the NDP spent during that election."
Wilson asked the Premier if she believed that allowing third party interest groups to spend more than political parties is healthy for Ontario's democracy and if she would introduce legislation to limit third party spending. "In the most recent report from the Chief Electoral Officer, Mr. Essensa called for the strengthening of third-party advertising rules. And we expect his upcoming annual report will do the same," Wilson said. He asked the Premier to recognize the distortion this type of third party spending causes during an election campaign and to agree to the Chief Electoral Officer's request.
The Chief Electoral officer noted that "Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta, New Brunswick and the federal government have all adopted controls over third party advertising...all other political entities in the electoral process are subject to spending and contribution limits as well as greater reporting and disclosure requirements. The rules related to third parties are not consistent with how all other political entities are treated and should be strengthened to promote greater transparency."