Campaign Contributions

An increasingly hot topic is the question of contributions by the development industry to municipal election campaigns.

Some municipalities such as the City of Toronto have passed bylaws banning contributions from corporations and unions. 

While there is no law in place within the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act that forces councillors to declare a financial interest if they have received campaign contributions from a developer currently making an application to the Town, research shows that those campaign contributions affects the "electability" of the candidate. The contributions also tend to affect whether the councillors or mayor vote in favour of that particular development company. 

In the GTA, particularly in areas slated for higher populations by 2013, development industry contributions often exceed donations from private individuals. For example, in Bradford West Gwillimbury, contributions from developers amounted to 58% of outside contributions. 

In the last municipal election in East Gwillimbury, the successful candidates — the 4 elected councillors and mayor — received monetary contributions of $11,850.00 from the development and construction industry.   Two councillors (Roy-DiClemente and Eaton) did not accept money from those industries. Mayor Hackson, Councillor Johnston, and Councillor Morton  received $4,450.00, $6,300.00 and $1,100.00 respectively from those industries.  To read the original 2010 campaign filings click HERE.

The development industry was on average the single largest contributor in the 2006 elections in nine suburban GTA municipalities. - Money and Politics in Simcoe County (2010)


The table below summarizes the monetary contributions that candidates received from the construction and development industry. Candidates who weren't elected are omitted, as are donations in the form of "goods and services in kind." 

Click on the links for candidate financial statements for 2003, 2006, and 2010

Candidate 2003 Election 2006 Election 2010 Election Remarks
Total Amount From Development Industry % from Development Industry Total Amount From Development Industry % from Development Industry Total Amount From Development Industry % from Development Industry
Jamie Young (Mayor) Acclaimed 2003 ---- ---- ---- Withdrew after filing ----
Councillor Virginia Hackson $0.00 0% $3,700.00 91% $4,450.00* (Mayoral race) 22% *In the September 26, 2010 All-Candidates Debate, Councillor Hackson stated that she was only taking contributions from "family and Friends."
Councillor Jack Hauseman $0.00 0% $4,450.00 78% $0.00 (Mayoral race) 0% During the 2010 campaign, and during the September 26, 2010 debate, Mr. Hauseman stated that he would not take development industry funds.
Councillor Cathy Morton $0.00 0% $1,450 48% $1,100.00 16% In the September 26, 2010 debate, Councillor Morton was the only candidate who confirmed that she was taking donations from a retirement home developer.
Councillor Marlene Johnston $0.00 0% $3,050.00 85% $6,300.00* 74% *At the September 26, 2014, when asked if she would take development industry contributions, Councillor Johnston stated she was "raffling off a quilt" to raise campaign funds. However that raffle did not appear on her Form 4 Financial Statement
Councillor John Eaton N/A wasn't a candidate N/A N/A N/A $0.00 0%
Councillor Tara Roy-DiClemente N/A wasn't a candidate N/A N/A N/A $0.00 0% At the September 26, 2010 debate, Ms. Roy-DiClemente stated that she was neither soliciting nor accepting donations from the development industry
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