Ottawa

Election finances law unfair to independents, Randy Hillier says

A politician who was kicked out of the Progressive Conservative caucus is challenging the constitutionality of an election fundraising law over how it treats independents.

Riding associations of official parties can fundraise any time, while independents can't, Hillier argues

Lanark–​​​​​​​Frontenac–​​​​​​​Kingston MPP Randy Hillier speaks with journalists outside the Ontario Legislature in 2018. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press)

A politician who was kicked out of the Progressive Conservative caucus is challenging the constitutionality of an election fundraising law over how it treats independents.

Randy Hillier has filed a notice of application saying that certain parts of the Election Finances Act contravene the democratic rights of citizens in the charter.

Hillier, who now sits as an independent, was booted out of caucus for not being a "team player" after clashing with advisers to Premier Doug Ford earlier this year.

He argues the act allows riding associations of official parties to fundraise any time, but independent politicians can only fundraise in a campaign period.

Hillier says that makes it almost impossible for independent candidates to participate in Ontario's democracy.

His lawyer says the law also allows registered parties to solicit higher maximum amounts, allows them to keep any surpluses but prohibits independents from doing so, and gives them per-vote subsidies.

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