How many political donations in Ontario come from organized crime?
I second your call for the reform of fundraising rules surrounding political contributions in Ontario, especially banning corporate and union donations. These reforms are long overdue.
When you take into consideration the testimonies of veteran Ontario detective Mike Amato with the York Regional police and former RCMP chief superintendent, Ben Soave, before the Charbonneau Commission in 2012—the Quebec Inquiry into allegations of corruption in the province's construction industry—where the police officers linked organized crime in Ontario to ‘legitimate businesses'. One has to wonder how many of these so-called ‘legitimate businesses’ attend (and donate to) political fundraising events in Ontario?
After his testimony Soave told media that, “organized crime has infiltrated Ontario's economy at least as much as it has in Quebec”. Amato expanded on this theme when he said: “The Mafia’s reach in Ontario extends to certain construction-related industries like trucking, home-building and excavation.” He added that these businesses are difficult to compete against because they are infused with illegal cash. "How can you compete against someone when it doesn't matter if he turns a profit on the job?"
He goes on to say, “the [public] thinks [the Mafia] is a bunch of old guys smoking cigars, playing cards in a coffee shop, but that's not the modern-day Mafia. They hold meetings in restaurants, they do not operate in the dark, they operate in the light amongst us".
Ontario voters deserve to know if Ontario businesses linked to organized crime have donated to political parties, whether through fundraising events or otherwise.
In fact, I believe Ontario needs its own Inquiry to put an end—once and for all—to corruption in Ontario politics at both the provincial and municipal levels.
James O'Grady, Nepean resident