Bonnie Crombie, in her quest for the Ontario Liberals’ leadership, has amassed close to a million dollars, a significant portion of which appears to have originated from one developer in the Toronto vicinity.
Recent Elections Ontario data reveal that Crombie has collected just shy of $937,00 by Monday since her leave from her position as mayor of Mississauga in September. Out of this almost-million-dollar fund, over $30,000 emanated from 10 individuals who bear names identical to executives with HBNG Holborn Group, a development firm situated in Vaughan.
In a communique dispatched to her followers on Monday, Crombie addressed critiques made by Nate Erskine-Smith, Yasir Naqvi, and Ted Hsu, her key contenders. These opponents had raised the issue of the developer donations during the Sept. 14 debate held in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Crombie’s rivals lambasted her for her alleged failure to develop adequate housing in Mississauga, with references drawn to the recent Ontario Greenbelt controversy. During the debate, Erskine-Smith questioned, “Are we going to win with a leader who has a track record of failing to build homes..?” He added, “And are we going to win with a leader who said they’re going to open up the Greenbelt and then recant…The Greenbelt is sacred. How do you build trust?”
In the email, Crombie kept up her defense whilst divulging the million-dollar fundraising figure. She asserted, “Our campaign has remained in strict adherence to all campaign-finance rules.” Crombie emphasized, “Every single time. All contributions are limited to a maximum of $3,350 and made public.”
From the dawn of this year, the Liberal Party has managed to gather approximately $600,000, in stark contrast to the Progressive Conservatives, who have accrued over ten times the amount. Crombie deemed this disparity “unacceptable” in her email, and stressed, “It is distinctly evident that Doug Ford must be defeated in the ensuing election,” She warned, “If he continues to secure $10 for every loonie we raise, we stand to lose. Such a scenario is intolerable.”
In November, Liberal party members throughout Ontario will cast their votes for their next leader, with the result to be declared in December.