Ward 3 Council Candidate Gareth Williams requesting Election Clerk take action against possible campaign finance and fundraising rule violations

council 100x100By Staff

September 12th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Ward 3 Council Candidate Gareth Williams is requesting City of Burlington Election Clerks take action against possible campaign finance and fundraising rule violations by fellow candidate Rory Nisan.

On Sunday, September 9th, Nisan held an event advertised as a “Community BBQ,” at which his campaign sold tickets for a raffle lottery with the proceeds going to his campaign. According to several of Nisan’s own social media posts, the sum total of prizes were valued over $900, and he also mentioned some prizes were donated by local businesses.

raffle_ticket_table

Table with raffle ticket sale incentives.

The Gareth Williams campaign confirmed with the Clerk’s office in the days leading up to the event that a raffle was not a permitted fundraising activity for a candidate based Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) regulations, which are readily available online. Only charities or non-profits may hold raffle type events, and only when licensed by the City. A municipal campaign or candidate would not qualify. Williams notified the Clerks office of the advertisements for the event but the raffle went forward nonetheless. Attempts to follow up with the Clerk’s office on Monday were not successful. A complaint has also been filed with the AGCO.

Gareth Williams

Ward 3 candidate Gareth wants a clean campaign.

In addition, according to changes made last year to the Municipal Elections Act, 1996, no candidate may accept contributions from businesses, only personal contributions from Ontario residents. Nisan posted multiple times to social media thanking businesses for their donations to his community BBQ raffle. Based on these posts, it seems that Mr. Nisan may have accepted corporate donations.

holacafe_donationFurthermore, according to testimony from witnesses, event organizers offered raffle tickets for selected prizes as an inducement for attendees agreeing to take a campaign lawn sign.

“It is the responsibility of candidates to inform themselves of and follow the rules that govern election campaigns. Other candidates in Ward 3 and throughout the City have successfully followed the rules, and Mr. Nisan appears to have either not learned the rules, or opted not to abide by them.” said Williams.

“The voters and other candidates of Ward 3 deserve a clean campaign, and Mr. Nisan owes them an explanation for his behaviour.”

 

Related news story:

Nisan regrets the fund raising error

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