The Ontario Auditor General says new ads for Hydro being paid for by the taxpayer would not have been eligible for such money before the present cabinet loosened funding rules in 2015. Bonnie Lysek told Global News that ads saying: “We’ve heard you. Hydro needs to be fair for everyone across the province and we’ve made fundamental changes to ensure this in the long-term” would not have been permitted under the previous rules. The ads are partisan, she said. In November Lysyk said changes made by the Liberals “open the door” to billing taxpayers for millions of dollars in partisan advertisements. Those changes removed the auditor’s discretionary powers to approve or reject ads, which Lysyk said, reduced her office to a rubber stamp. “Our Office approved the Hydro-related ads under the current version of the Government Advertising Act,” Lysyk said. “However, they would not have passed under the previous legislation because we feel that these ads have the objective of fostering a positive impression of the government.”
CP CANCELS 1,351 “MEMBERSHIPS”
The federal Conservative Party has removed 1,351 names from its membership list after it was found they were purchased anonymously. Party officials were prompted to act after leadership candidate Kevin O’Leary said Thursday that “widespread vote rigging” was taking place in the race to replace Stephen Harper. “Upon an expedited review, we found 1,351 memberships purchased through two IP addresses which were not purchased by those members, said the party. Those purchases were made anonymously through the Conservative Party of Canada website,” according to Cory Hann, director of communications for the party. This was contrary to rules for membership. The question now hanging over the party is who might be behind such tricks.