OPSEU's Thomas vows transparency on party fundraising

TORONTO, April 5, 2016 /CNW/ - In response to the fundraising quotas that have shocked Ontarians and shaken the Ontario Liberal Party, Warren (Smokey) Thomas says his union will dog Cabinet ministers at every leg of their summer fundraising circuits.

"This will be the summer of the Liberals' discontent," said the president of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union. "One of things we're going to remind the Liberals, their backers and ordinary Ontarians is that making a fat donation to buy face time with ministers is not part of the democratic process."

While Thomas was encouraged by Premier Kathleen Wynne's moves to reform fundraising rules, he warned that this could only be a first step.

"It's great the Premier suddenly gets it that her funding quotas are undemocratic – even though I've been telling her that for years," said Thomas. "But what about the past? Do we bury 13 years of Liberal ministers' peddling their "availability" to those able to pay for it?"

Quebec's Charbonneau Commission recently undertook three years of investigation and testimony around government contracts with the construction industry. The commission uncovered evidence of corruption and influence peddling, and shone a bright light on how government does business with the private sector.

"Ontario needs its own Charbonneau Commission," said Thomas. "What promises have been made behind closed doors? Who's benefited, and by how much, from these private audiences with the guardians of the public purse?

"Kathleen Wynne says she wants to have the most transparent government in the country. Well, here's her chance to prove it.

"Bring on the commission, Premier. Ontario taxpayers deserve to know the truth."

SOURCE Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

For further information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931


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