Letter to the Editor: Fairness for all in municipal elections

Dear Editor,

The issue of banning corporate and union donations during municipal elections is an important one for the residents of Ottawa.

Fairness is at the heart of the matter. Residents who live here, pay taxes and contribute to our community simply want to ensure that no one organization or business has more influence at City Hall because of the donations that they are able to make at election time.

Karen Wright, president of the Civic Hospital Neighbourhood Association. 
File photo by Andrea Tomkins
Karen Wright, president of the Civic Hospital Neighbourhood Association. 
File photo by Andrea Tomkins

The change simply makes sense. Churches, sports groups, hospitals, and community organizations like ours are not able to donate to municipal campaigns. In order to even the playing field, businesses and unions should also be excluded.

Yes, the province needs to grant this change. But we wouldn’t be the first city in Ontario to request more control over electoral rules. Toronto made the same request and implemented the new rules six years and two elections ago.

This is an important issue, and citizens in Ottawa care about this unfairness in our elections. That was witnessed at our AGM in October 2014 when the membership voted unanimously in favour of this change.

We can all agree in the principle of “one person, one vote.” The same should be applied to donations. One person, one vote – one person, one donation.

Karen Wright
President
Civic Hospital Neighbourhood Association

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