The Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition wants everyone in the Lake Simcoe Watershed to start asking their candidates if they accept campaign donations from corporations and unions.
Candidates can answer the question, “Will you promise to accept donations for your 2014 municipal election campaign from individuals only, and refuse donations from corporations and unions?” right away on a new website http://www.campaignfairness.com/
“We launched a new website with factsheets for voters and candidates because we want people to understand the importance of this issue,” says Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition staff Claire Malcolmson. “This is where democracy and the environment meet.”
“Corporations are not citizens. If you can't vote or run for office, you shouldn't be able to influence the vote. We want a level playing field between candidates whose interests are environmental and those whose priorities align with corporate and particularly development interests,” says Robert Eisenberg, Campaign Fairness Chair.
The development industry is by far the most important financier of the majority of winning candidates’ municipal election campaigns in Southern Ontario. Candidates who get the financial support of the development industry are more likely than those who don't to get elected, according to statistical research done at York University.
“This matters to Lake Simcoe because poorly planned new development will have a negative impact on the lake. We need Councils whose top priorities are the protection of green space and high environmental standards for development,” says Tim Crooks, President of the Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition.
Candidates will receive the poll by email and twitter until mid September, and results will be in the news between mid August and the October 27th election. Local ratepayer group members are asking their candidates the question and phoning those who do not respond.
The Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition is a Lake wide citizen umbrella organization formed to be an effective advocate for the restoration and protection of the environmental health and quality of Lake Simcoe. www.RescueLakeSimcoe.org
Campaign Fairness asks candidates and voters to reject corporate and union donations to municipal election campaigns, to protect Ontario's green space and water quality. http://www.campaignfairness.com/
Article courtesy Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition