SCOOP: Q1 Fundraising: Tories steamroll rivals
Also: Mantha speaks, Bill 60 makeover, the latest anti-red-tape crusade, who's who on Team Bailao, happy 130th birthday Queen's Park and loads more
ABOVE THE FOLD
First in Observer — BIG BUCKS — The PCs money-making machine leads the pack.
So far this year, the ruling Ford Tories have raked in a whopping $4.5 million — leaving their political rivals in the dust.
By the numbers: According to real-time disclosures posted to Elections Ontario, the PCs pulled in $4,595,919 in the first quarter of the year, which wrapped up on Friday. The average donation was $1,596 from 2,880 donors.
Filling the coffers: A big boost to those numbers would have been Premier DOUG FORD’s leader’s dinner — which, as first scooped in this newsletter, saw roughly 4,000 folks cough up $1,500 apiece to rub shoulders with the front bench.
In a surprising albeit distant second: The third-place, unrecognized Grits’ piggybank stands at $304,858 — with 1,464 donors giving an average of $208.
Not far behind: The Official Opposition NDP added another $204,960 to its cash arsenal. That includes donations made during the leadership contest. At least 460 supporters donated an average of $446.
A caveat: The NDP like to boast that they’re the party of smaller donors, and since Elections Ontario doesn’t readily disclose contributions under $200, they would probably say they’ve earned more than what’s out there publicly.
Bringing up the rear: The Greens raised $44,179. 102 donors gave an average of $437.
Why it matters: Campaigns cost money, and the more cash in a party’s arsenal, the more resources they’ll have to run advertising, tour Ontario’s 124 ridings and more.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY I: The Legislature is ringing in its 130th anniversary today, after opening its doors on April 4, 1893.
Opening Day wasn’t without its hiccups. Per the Legislative Assembly: “Members of the public rode the new electric elevators up and down all day, until one got stuck, and they were all shut off for the night…The force of the wind was so strong that a window in the west wing shattered and the Union Jack was torn to shreds.” More juicy tidbits.
UPDATE — DOUG FORD’S TUESDAY — 9 a.m.: The Premier will deliver a keynote at the US-Canada Summit put on by the Eurasia Group/BMO.
9:30 a.m.: Budget victory-lap announcements continue. Housing Minister STEVE CLARK is up in Mississauga alongside Finance Minister PETER BETHLENFALVY and Associate Housing Minister and area MPP NINA TANGRI.
9:30 a.m.: The Ontario Equal Pay Coalition is in the Media Studio to “tell the stories of front-line women workers as they say no to privatization and call on the provincial government to rebuild public services and implement pay transparency.”
10 a.m.: NDPers MARIT STILES and KRISTYN WONG-TAM are up next, to pump up their private member’s bill to protect the LGBTQ community from rising hate crimes.
ON THE ORDER PAPER
First up: Another session, another anti-red-tape crusade. That would be Bill 91, Minister PARM GILL’s latest package aimed at cutting regulatory red tape — a PC pet project — which is expected to go for second reading bright and early.
Fine print: Many of Bill 91’s moves are laid out in our exclusive Regulatory Roundup below.
Later on, debate on the routine budget motion chugs along.
The late show: NDP DOLY BEGUM will move her private member’s Bill 82, which would mandate regular public reviews of accessibility at transit stations and stops.
MONDAY’S RUNDOWN — The budget bill is off to committee and a few backbench proposals landed on the Clerk’s table:
Off to committee: Bill 85, the PCs budget implementation legislation, is headed for further study at its usual home, the Finance and Economic Affairs committee, after clearing a second-reading vote.
Tabled I: Bill 92, the Transparent and Accountable Health Care Act from NDP critic FRANCE GELINAS that would make big health care organizations subject to broader public sector salary disclosures and the Ombudsman Act.
Tabled II: Bill 93, from PC GOLDIE GHAMARI, would ensure kids 12 and under where a lifejacket while on a boat or being towed behind one.
ON THE COMMITTEE CIRCUIT — 9 a.m: Bill 60 — the PCs hotly contested move to expand private delivery of certain OHIP-funded services — is up for a possible makeover during clause-by-clause consideration at the Social Policy committee.
Set the stage: The Grits have teased their proposed amendments to the hot-potato bill, while hospital CEOs and health care advocates laid out their asks during public hearings. Even Premier DOUG FORD has waded in, playing defence.
Spoiler alert: The PCs also boast a majority on committee, so their amendments are the most likely to make it on to the final draft of the legislation.
9 a.m.: Finance and Economic Affairs is dealing with committee business.
IN OTHER NEWS…
— MANTHA SPEAKS: A brief and vague statement from MICHAEL MANTHA after his ouster from the NDP benches: “As a lifelong believer in safe workplaces, I have been and remain fully committed to participating in the independent process now underway. I will continue to serve the people of Algoma—Manitoulin. I will not be commenting further on this matter.”