Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford is promising to “tighten” up election financing rules after a Global News investigation revealed eight PC MPPs were given allowances from their local riding associations — paid for by party donors and taxpayers.
The MPP allowances, laid out in constituency association annual returns filed with Elections Ontario, detailed that thousands of dollars were paid to eight PC MPPs between 2018 and 2021.
While some MPPs were given specific funds for child care or vehicle allowances, itemized receipts and line-by-line expenditures were unavailable, raising questions over exactly how the money was spent.
While addressing the controversy for the first time, Thursday, Ford said he “wasn’t too happy” when he learned of the issue, but defended the expenses.
“I’ve been assured that all rules were followed, the expenses are independently audited, they’re reviewed and approved by Elections (Ontario),” Ford emphasized.
While Ford said, if re-elected, the Ontario PC Party would strike an all-party committee to review election financing laws and “tighten them up.”
The Ontario NDP, however is calling on Ford to go even further and force the MPPs to pay back the financial top-ups.
“They’ve treated these riding association accounts like personal ATMs. Every Conservative who took these top-ups should pay them back,” said Taras Natyshak, an NDP MPP not running for re-election.