An audit request that will be filed today with the City of Toronto’s Compliance Audit Committee alleges that Toronto Mayor Rob Ford violated municipal campaign finance laws. If found in violation of these laws, Mayor Ford could face fines of up to $ 25,000 and removal from office.
In their 17-page audit request, Toronto residents Max Reed and Adam Chaleff-Freudenthaler allege that Mayor Ford committed the following violations:
- Improperly paid for campaign expenses;
- Wrongly borrowed money from his family’s holding company;
- Exceeded the expenditure limit;
- Accepted corporate contributions.
“Our audit request raises serious allegations of violations of the Municipal Elections Act. An audit is necessary to ensure that all the rules were followed,” said Max Reed, a recent graduate of McGill University’s law school.
“Free and fair elections require all candidates, especially the Mayor, to fully comply with all campaign finance regulations,” added Adam Chaleff-Freudenthaler, a lifelong Toronto resident and observer of municipal politics. “If these violations prove to be true, the Mayor will have been elected on an uneven playing field.”
The audit request has been endorsed by Robert Macdermid, professor of political science at York University. He is Canada’s leading expert on Ontario’s municipal campaign finance laws.
“Mr. Reed and Mr. Chaleff-Freudenthaler raise well-supported questions that Mayor Ford may not have strictly adhered to the Municipal Elections Act. I believe that the Compliance Audit Committee should treat their request seriously and order an audit,” said Professor Macdermid.
The Compliance Audit Committee will consider the audit request at its meeting on Friday. Any single violation of the Municipal Elections Act may be punishable by a fine of up to $ 25,000 and/or removal from office.