LFK MPP Randy Hillier Files Charter of Rights & Freedoms Challenge
Randy Hillier (MPP for Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston) said in a statement that he has “struck back to defend representative democracy in Ontario politics” by filing a charter application to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
His application speaks to election funding as the independent MPP writes, “which challenges the discriminatory limitations and corruptible influences of the Election Finances Act that prevent independent candidates from participating in the democratic process on equal footing.”
Hillier explained, “The current Election Finance laws greatly favour party candidates over independents, specifically by restricting the ability of independent members to raise money for re-election.”
He says this poses “significant hurdles and barriers for independents that other elected members do not face and that were enshrined in law by successive governments intent on preserving the party system.”
If successful Hillier’s challenge would alter the political-funding landscape.
His statement says “It would finally break the stranglehold that political parties exercise over our Democracy and return a level playing field for all those who seek public office by permitting independent candidates to accept donations at anytime for their election.” He added, “It would also remove the ability for parties to hold hostage or coerce members who hold their constituents as a higher priority than party discipline.”
The MPP concluded his statement by saying, “Our Election Finance laws have obstructed the introduction of new people with new ideas to elected office, and serve to frustrate the representation of those who share their views in public office.” He added, “That’s why I have served an Application with the Court; I am challenging the Constitutional validity of the laws that unduly limit participation in our democracy the way the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms intends.”
You can read a copy of the Charter Application here.
Hillier, who was expelled from the Tory caucus and now sits as an independent. Premier Doug Ford removed him from caucus for not being “team player” after clashing with the Premier’s top advisers.
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