Toronto

Ontario Liberals reverse course, say they will ban MPPs from fundraisers

The provincial government has announced, after months of criticism, that it wants to ban all members of provincial parliament from so-called cash-for-access fundraisers.

After months of criticism, provincial government says so-called cash-for-access events will be off limits

Ontario Liberals now say they want to ban all members of provincial parliament from fundraising events, after enduring months of criticism over so-called cash-for-access fundraisers.

The Liberals dropped what the opposition parties are calling a bombshell in the middle of a committee considering amendments to an election finance reform bill.

The government introduced the legislation amid allegations they were selling access to cabinet ministers at high-priced dinners and receptions, though they denied that attendees at those functions influenced government decisions.

As recently as last week, the Liberals had said they weren't keen on banning cash-for-access fundraisers through legislation, saying it could prohibit every MPP from fundraising and that would be too restrictive.

But that is now exactly what the Liberals are proposing, as laid out in a statement from Attorney General Yasir Naqvi.

Progressive Conservative Randy Hillier called the statement a "despicable" stunt that makes a "total mockery" of the process.