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  • New bill would get big money out of politics

QUEEN’S PARK — Green Party of Ontario Leader, Mike Schreiner, will be introducing a bill to eliminate cash-for-access fundraising in Ontario today, an effort to get big money out of politics and tighten election finance laws that were loosened by the Conservative government in the fall.

“Cash-for-access events have no place in a healthy democracy. What they do is allow money and influence to be traded between those in power and those with power. That’s why I’m introducing legislation to put an end to it,” said Schreiner.

If passed, the bill would cap the ticket price of political party fundraising events at $100, therefore preventing political parties from offering the ear of the Premier and Cabinet at $1600-per-plate dinners with deep-pocketed lobbyists.

“This $100 limit strikes the right balance, allowing parties to hold modest fundraising dinners with the public, but preventing pay-to-play politics that eat away at our democracy,” said Schreiner.

Schreiner was part of an all-party effort in 2016 to get big money out of Ontario politics. The Conservatives supported tougher finance rules in opposition, but relaxed them as soon as they came to power.

Schreiner expressed concern that backroom dealings at cash-for-access fundraisers could have an undue influence on government policy.

“Endangered species, children with autism, and low-income families cannot afford to spend thousands to hob-knob with politicians. That’s why consultation should happen out in the open, without money being exchanged,” said Schreiner.

“Democracy should be for everyone, not just those with deep pockets.”

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