Ontario puts an end to the use of taxpayer dollars for tickets to events featuring politicians

Ontario Premier Doug Ford

New amendments strengthen respect for taxpayer dollars

TORONTO — The government of Ontario is implementing new accountability measures for how taxpayer dollars are being spent. New amendments to the Financial Administration Act prohibit ministries, provincial agencies and the two hydro entities (Ontario Power Generation and the Independent Electricity System Operator) from paying to attend or sponsor events where a politician is the main speaker. These changes are part of the government’s commitment to strengthen accountability for how public money is spent in Ontario.

The new amendments support the government’s platform commitment to restore accountability and trust in government. The amendments help fulfill the government’s promise to identify efficiencies that exist across all of government, including how different agencies and ministries purchase goods and services.

“Since day one, we’ve been clear about our fiscal priorities, and these changes are about emphasizing responsible, strategic fiscal planning that respects the hard-earned taxpayer dollars entrusted to the Ontario government,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the Treasury Board. “As stewards of public finances, we must put structures in place that direct spending towards what matters most. These changes are an important step in strengthening accountability for how public money is used, and will help restore trust in the province’s finances.”

This provision was introduced as part of the 2019 Budget Bill, and comes into force on July 1, 2019.

The amendments apply to events where the main speaker is a:

  1. Federal or provincial minister of the Crown, or territorial minister
  2. Member of the Senate of Canada, the House of Commons or the legislative assembly of a province or territory
  3. Leader of a federal, provincial or territorial political party
  4. Member of a municipal council in Canada (including mayors)

Individuals are still  able to attend these events, as long as their tickets were purchased with their own funds, they are invited as a guest, or if the event is free, contingent upon any political activity restrictions.

Quick Facts

  • Approximately 60 per cent of the government’s provincial agencies are administratively supported by ministries and are bound by expenditure directions applicable to ministries.
  • The board-governed agencies and two hydro entities have broader authority to make their own operational decisions and require direction to take specific actions.

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