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Ontario’s political parties take a big payday advance

Author: Jay Goldberg 2021/07/12

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling on Ontario Premier Doug Ford to cancel the payday cash advance he has scheduled for Ontario’s political parties and keep his promise to end the province’s political welfare regime altogether.

“Ontario’s politicians are shoving their hands further into the taxpayer cookie jar to pad their pockets before the next election,” said Jay Goldberg, Interim Ontario Director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “It’s bad enough that taxpayers are forced to hand over money to political parties four times a year, but it’s wrong to ask for a multi-million-dollars advance payment while taxpayers continue to struggle.” 

The Ford government passed legislation in February that allows Ontario’s four major political parties to get three quarterly payments early, just in time for the 2022 election.

While the opposition parties have voiced their objections to parts of the legislation, they have not raised concerns about these advance payments.

“This latest slight of hand in paying political parties just in time for an election shows how little respect politicians are showing for taxpayers,” said Goldberg.

Under the province’s subsidy system, taxpayers are forced to give Ontario’s political parties money every three months. The payment is calculated by multiplying the number of votes each party received in the last election by a quarterly rate, which is currently $0.636. Parties will now receive more than $10 million by taking an advance on the payments for the next three quarters before the next election.

In addition to offering political parties subsidies in advance, Ford is increasing the amount political parties receive for every vote. The quarterly per-vote subsidy rate increased from $0.552 in 2020 to $0.636 in 2021. All four of Ontario’s major political parties will receive large subsidies as a result.

“With Ford choosing to cash in on per-vote subsidies instead of repealing them, taxpayers will have been forced to hand over more than $60 million to Ontario’s political parties by the end of his four-year mandate,” said Goldberg. “It’s high time for Ford to keep his promise and repeal Ontario’s system of per-vote subsidies.” 

Pre-Election Advance Payments:

  • P.C. Party: $4.4 million
  • NDP: $3.6 million
  • Liberal Party: $2.1 million
  • Green Party: $500,000

Total Per-Vote pay outs: June 2018- June 2022 (Four years)

Party

Total Subsidy

Progressive Conservative

$26.4 million

New Democratic

$22.3 million

Liberal

$13 million

Green

$3.1 million