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Nicholls bill to reduce third party election spending is defeated in Queen’s Park

Chatham-Kent Essex M.P.P. Rick Nicholls.

Chatham-Kent Essex M.P.P. Rick Nicholls.

Bill 101, the proposed change to limit third-party election spending brought forth by MPP Rick Nicholls, was shot down in Queen’s Park yesterday. Nicholls is putting the blame for the Bill’s defeat squarely on the Liberals and NDP.

“I am very disappointed that the Liberals and NDP came together to defeat Bill 101 today. I am saddened that they would rather cater to unions and special interest demands than safeguard our democracy,” Nicholls said.

Nicholls’ bill sought to amend the Elections Finance Act to restrict spending by third-party election advertisers to $150,000 in relation to the election in general and also to limit those same advertisers to a cap of $3,000 per individual riding.

British Columbia, Alberta, Quebec and New Brunswick, along with the federal government have all adopted controls over third-party advertising.

Such a change in legislation, in fact, was called for by Ontario’s chief electoral officer Greg Essensa in the 2012-13 elections Ontario annual report.

Premier Kathleen Wynne had stated in April that she was “very interested in looking at the recommendations and open to looking at changes that could be made.” NDP Leader Andrea Horwath had also previously stated she was willing to look into third-party spending limits. When put to vote however, the bill was defeated.

“The Ontario PCs will continue to fight to protect our democracy and limit the power of massive special interest groups in the province,” Nicholls said.

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