Doug Ford defends $1,250-a-plate PC party fundraiser in Toronto

Ontario Premier Doug Ford speaks at the Economic Club of Canada in Toronto on Monday, January 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

TORONTO – Premier Doug Ford says a fundraising gala his Progressive Conservative party is hosting in Toronto tonight does not constitute cash-for-access to his ministers.

The event, dubbed the 2019 Leader’s Dinner, is charging $1,250 a plate and is being criticized by the opposition parties.

READ MORE: Doug Ford under fire for attending party fundraiser, defying campaign laws

Ford defended the event, saying the Tories also host $25-a-plate spaghetti dinners across the province that anyone can attend.

Tonight’s gala comes after Ford’s government changed fundraising rules to allow the premier and cabinet ministers to attend such events.

READ MORE: Ontario political parties relied heavily on corporate, union donations in 2016

Story continues below advertisement

The previous Liberal government altered party fundraising rules in 2017 to ban corporate and union donations and bar legislators from attending fundraisers.

Green party leader Mike Schreiner says the event is a return to cash-for-access events and is bad for democracy.

Sponsored content