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Nicholls Calls on Premier Wynne to Implement Chief Electoral Officer’s Recommendation

July 7, 2014

Queen’s Park – Today, Chatham-Kent-Essex MPP Rick Nicholls called for the Premier to implement Ontario Chief Electoral Officer Greg Essensa’s recommendation to place limits on third party advertising during elections.

“We are the only jurisdiction in Canada that has no spending limit on advertisers that have the power to influence elections. That jeopardizes the integrity of this institution and is a disservice to our democracy,” Nicholls said during Question Period.

Over the past few provincial elections, third party groups have greatly increased their election advertising spending which has many concerned for the health of Ontario’s democracy.

Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta, New Brunswick and the federal government have all adopted controls over third party advertising. Federal legislation was actually introduced by a Liberal government in 1999.

To Nicholls, it is a non-partisan issue.

“The Chief Electoral Officer recommends that no group should be able to spend millions of dollars to influence elections without any transparency. And we agree,” Nicholls stated.

Premier Wynne did not declare support for the Chief Electoral Officer’s recommendations, stating “if there is willingness and a desire on the part of all parties and the Chief Electoral Officer to have a conversation, we’re open to having that conversation.”