“You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” payouts call for action on third-party advertising: Harris

Published on October 29, 2015

QUEEN’S PARK – Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris today called out the Wynne Liberals for lack of action on third-party advertising regulation while they funneled millions in payouts to teachers unions.

Harris noted that millions in taxpayer dollars have been reported going to teachers unions for negotiations, only a year after those same unions spent millions on election advertising benefitting the Liberal Party.

“Can the Acting Premier, with a straight face, guarantee us, today that not one red cent of the millions of dollars funneled to teachers unions was spent on third-party election ads that benefitted the Liberal Party?” Harris asked. “She can't because she's part of a chain that sees teachers’ unions spend millions on election ads one year, and receive millions back from this government to cover hotel and pizza costs the next.”

Harris went on to point out that Wynne’s still unfulfilled promises to strengthen rules on third party advertising would help prevent the diversion of taxpayer dollars funding third party advertising.

“Instead of delivering on strengthened regulation of third party advertising, the Premier refuses to live up to her word and diverts attention by flip flopping on the need for receipts to justify continued pay-outs,” said Harris. “Just follow the money Speaker and she'll know what's on those receipts - 3 million plus in partisan third-party election advertising bills.  It’s time to end this tired taxpayer-funded charade!”

Despite his call, the Acting Premier refused to provide a timeline for promised new regulations to halt potential government pay-outs for third-party advertising.

See video of the Queens Park news conference here: http://bit.ly/1ke6fhL