Sharp Pencils and Big Fat Cheques
Source: Inside Queen’s Park Vol. 25, No. 15, a publication of GP Murray Research Limited
The Toronto Star investigation of eye-popping charges by the Maintenance & Construction Skilled Trades Council for work done in Toronto District School Board facilities states that large donations were made to school trustees and LIB MPPs. The newspaper did not report which pols got what amounts but says that the donations were at least $118,000 over a four year period.
An IQP’ review of financial statements filed with Elections Ontario shows that union has also made generous donations to the Ontario Liberal Party. MCSTC contributions totaling $34,325 are listed in the AR-10 reports of central party annual returns for seven of the last eight years.
The MCSTC has also been a stalwart contributor to the LIBs during election and by-election campaign periods, donating a total of $41,120 to the central party per CR-4 filings for eight of the last nine years.
(Coincidentally, the AR-10 and CR-4 donations for 2011 were submitted as required by the end of May 2012 but had not been posted on the Elections Ontario web-site until yesterday. The 2011 AR-10 donation was $5,025; the 2011 CR-4 donation, was $5,100; boosting their recent totals by $10,125.)
Note that the substantial political donations from one quite modestly sized union do not include any contributions made to MPPs, candidates, constituencies and local campaigns, over and above what was given to the central party.
Now, none of that is against the law, but it can be embarrassing indeed, to find that your party has banked enough from a donor suddenly become notorious for pricey installation of, say, pencil sharpeners. At the union’s $143 charge, $65K would allow you to install more than 525 of the things.
It appears that the TDSB is belatedly acting to end the MCTSC boondoggle. Perhaps the LIBs could help by rebating the union’s similarly inflated contributions?