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Media Statement, for immediate release.

October 25, 2021

TORONTO — The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) is calling on Elections Ontario to disclose how many complaints regarding third party spending have been filed by sitting MPPs.

Under the new third party spending regime – which the CCLA and others are fighting in court, onerous new restrictions have been enacted to muzzle community activists and other local organizations. The system has already been weaponized by one government minister, Steve Clark, against groups in his own riding.

“Elections Ontario must immediately disclose whether and how many other complaints have been filed under this system by MPPs,” said Cara Zwibel, Director of the Fundamental Freedoms Program at the CCLA. “We must have full transparency and know how many groups are being intimidated and muzzled by the government.”

“It is concerning that our MPP, Steve Clark, did not contact us first, as his constituents, to discuss any concerns, but rather, he opted to file a complaint as a Minister, alleging that we were breaking the law,” said Kirk Albert, spokesperson for the Jail Opposition Group.

“They should just leave people alone and accept the spirit of a democratic electoral system where citizens embrace their role in the election. If there is some genuine concern regarding SuperPacs then policy should address that specifically,” said AnnaMaria Valastro, Lead Coordinator for the Peaceful Parks Coalition.

“We are pleased by the outcome of the Elections Ontario investigation but are concerned that a member of the provincial legislature and a minister of the Crown, would use his position of power to take such a heavy-handed approach against his own constituents. From our perspective, it feels as if Minister Clark was trying to silence us,” said Colleen Lynas, head of the Coalition Against the Proposed Prison (Kemptville).

The CCLA will be appearing in court as an intervenor on November 22 in a case challenging the third-party spending rules in Ontario.

For details and updates about the case, follow us here.

Download recording of press conference.

About the Canadian Civil Liberties Association

The CCLA is an independent, non-profit organization with supporters from across the country. Founded in 1964, the CCLA is a national human rights organization committed to defending the rights, dignity, safety, and freedoms of all people in Canada.

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