Partisan promotion of Federal candidate at Ontario Government funding announcement demands investigation: Harris

Published on October 01, 2015

Queens Park – MPP Michael Harris says after a Kitchener MPP and Government Minister followed Premier Wynne’s electioneering trail by appearing to use an Ontario funding announcement to promote a Federal Liberal candidate, it's time to call in the Integrity Commissioner.

‎"Specifically, I am requesting your investigation into possible contraventions of Ontario parliamentary convention by both sitting MPP’s Daiene Vernile (Kitchener-Centre) and Agriculture Minister Jeff Leal (Peterborough) through use of government funded resources in relation to partisan activities." Harris wrote in a letter he sent to the Commissioner.

‎Harris wrote the Commissioner concerning the use of a September 1st, limited-access, Ontario Government fu‎nding announcement in St. Jacob’s by Vernile and Leal as a platform to promote Kitchener-Centre Federal Liberal candidate Raj Saini.

"Given the Commissioner's August 11th email to all MPPs relating to federal election participation that, ‘government resources should not be used for partisan purposes’, I was surprised to see pictures from the funding event of Candidate Saini shoulder-to-shoulder with the government members announcing the provincial funding to a local brewery." Harris added.

The Kitchener-Conestoga MPP‎ aired his concerns during question period, suggesting that when it comes to misuse of government resources, the apple doesn't fall from the tree.

"Since the beginning of the federal election, we’ve seen more pictures of the Premier dancing with Justin than working for Ontarians - while 900,000 elementary students are impacted by escalating strike action, she’s taking to the podium to talk Trudeau!"‎ Harris later indicated. ‎"Look the Integrity Commissioner has made it clear, these guys just can't keep going around using government resources - in this case an Ontario taxpayer funding announcement - to parade around and promote their Federal Liberal buddies."

Harris says he looks forward to the Integrity Commissioner's response and direction to provide clarity as the Wynne Government continues to blur lines between use of government resources and partisan promotion.