Almost all of the candidates vying to be Winnipeg’s next mayor have agreed to reveal who is donating to their campaigns before the election — but not Gord Steeves.
The city clerk’s office publishes a list of campaign donors months after the election — but now, a majority of this year’s candidates have agreed to release that information much earlier.
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CBC News approached the candidates, asking each if they’d pony up the details of their donations.
Candidate Brian Bowman said his campaign will ask for consent from donors who gave before Wednesday, but after that, there will be new rules.
“On a go-forward basis, starting tomorrow, we aren’t going to give that option [of non-disclosure], regardless of the amount,” said Bowman. “We will be making those disclosures publicly beginning September 24 and each consecutive week following that.”
Candidate Robert Falcon Oullette said that’s been his plan all along.
“It’s essentially already on my website. It was actually up on the first day,” he said. “I actually indicated that people would have their names disclosed right away on the website.”
Candidates Judy Wasylycia-Leis and Mike Vogiatzakis also agreed to disclose before the election.
Coun. Paula Havixbeck is also running. She said she’d publish the names of donors, and like Bowman, said she wouldn’t accept donations from companies named in recent city audits, including the fire hall land swap audit and an audit of cost overruns on the new police headquarters.
“I think there is a perception that they have had an unfair advantage at city hall, and I want to dispel any perception that there would be an unfair advantage,” she said.
In the 2010 election, Havixbeck did receive a donation of more than $1,900 from Shindico, a company prominently featured in the fire hall land swap audit.
The lone respondent on the other side of the issue was candidate Gord Steeves, who said at this point, he has no plans to offer the details on who is donating to him.
“Maybe the laws aren't perfectly fair right now, but in terms of whether I am willing to deviate from that, I am not prepared to do that today,” said Steeves.
Steeves said he doesn’t believe anyone can buy influence with him from a campaign donation, and he has no plans to divulge who he will and won’t accept donations from.
Michel Fillion did not respond to CBC requests for comment.