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Ontario’s political fundraising legislation heads to public hearings

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne speaks at a news conference at the Ontario Legislature on Sept. 7, 2016.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

Ontario is one step closer to banning all provincial politicians from fundraising.

Election finance reform legislation passed second reading today, which means it will now go to public committee hearings – though the opposition parties say the governing Liberals aren't interested in input.

The bill had a rare round of hearings after first reading, but the Progressive Conservatives and NDP complained that the majority Liberals did not take their suggested amendments into consideration.

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Instead, the Liberals announced a surprise proposal to ban members of the provincial legislature from fundraising, which they said they would introduce as an amendment after second reading.

Details were slim at the time, but the Liberals have since said that the ban will include not just elected politicians, but also candidates and nomination contestants.

The legislation would also ban corporate and union donations, and include a per-vote subsidy for parties to offset the loss of fundraising dollars.

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