McKenney releases list of campaign donors who gave more than $100

Ottawa mayoral candidate Catherine McKenney has published the full list of contributors who have donated more than $100 to their campaign.

Donor information typically released months after municipal election

Mayoral candidate Catherine McKenney promises more transparency and accountability at city hall if elected on Oct. 24. (Jean Delisle/CBC)

Ottawa mayoral candidate Catherine McKenney has published the full list of people who have donated more than $100 to their campaign.

The list, published to McKenney's campaign website Monday, includes the name and postal code of 1,303 contributors up to and including Oct. 9. They gave amounts ranging from $101 to $1,200 – the maximum amount allowed. 

The website states McKenney will return donations should they learn "that a developer, their family member, or employee" has contributed to the campaign. They will also release an updated list of donors on Oct. 20.

Provincial law requires that each candidate submit a financial statement from their campaign by March 31, 2023, which includes a list of donations of $100 or more. The City of Ottawa then makes those statements publicly available.

It's about openness and transparency.- Catherine McKenney, mayoral candidate

McKenney promised earlier in the campaign to publish that list before voting day, Oct. 24.

"It comes out after the election. My argument is that it should come out before," McKenney said at a news conference on Tuesday.

McKenney pointed out they are "not holding $1,200 per ticket fundraisers behind closed doors."

"It's about openness and transparency. If I'm getting my funding … from ordinary people from across the city, people have a right to know that. They have a right to know who is on that list before they head to the polls."

Brandon Bay, also running for mayor, is now also posting his list of donors on his webpage.

Sutcliffe won't release donor list early

Another key candidate, Mark Sutcliffe, said in a statement he's "very proud" of the thousands of people who have volunteered and contributed financially to his campaign, but he won't be releasing his donor list before the legislated date.

Sutcliffe has previously said he's not accepting contributions from developers or union executives. (Corporations and unions are no longer allowed to donate to municipal campaigns.)

He also repeated his concerns about the involvement of third-party advertisers, in particular Horizon Ottawa, which has endorsed a slew of candidates — including McKenney — and drew attention to $1,200-a-ticket fundraiser held for Sutcliffe.

It's not the first time a candidate has made their donors' list public long before the city does it for them. 

Several candidates published their lists ahead of voting day in 2018, including Clive Doucet, who was running for mayor. Many Alta Vista ward candidates also published their donors' lists before that vote, including Jean Cloutier, who is not running this election. He made that pledge after facing criticism and having to cancel a fundraiser with developers.

With files from Kate Porter and Joanne Chianello