While Ontarians continue to struggle with the province’s failed response to COVID-19, the Ford government is making changes to Ontario’s election laws that will shield them from public criticism and increase the Conservative party coffers.
The major changes in Bill 254 include making changing election financing rules by doubling the legal maximum political donation limit from $1650 to $3300, tightening advertising rules for third parties, extending the public subsidy for political parties until 2024, and allowing independent MPPs to fundraise before the writ drops.
This is a self-serving move by the Conservative government to increase the influence of wealthy and well-connected donors, while silencing critics who speak out against this government’s cuts to public services and its disastrous response to the COVID-19 pandemic
Organizations like the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario have expressed concerns the proposed will silence everyone who’s been working to push the province to take urgent and necessary action to keep Ontarians safe, like the families of long-term care COVID victims, health care workers and so many more.
Scientists, educators, and parent groups deserve to be heard. Suppressing dissent and repressing alternative voices undermine democracy. Queen’s Park should work for everyone. No matter how much money you have, and no matter how much money you give to politicians.
We need a government for everyday people, where the views of nurses, moms, and small business owners are just as valuable as the views of the wealthy. For politics to be fair, we need to keep big money out.