June 17, 2019

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Council seekers face charges

Failed to file financial papers

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 7/7/2011 (2901 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Seven former Winnipeg mayoral and council hopefuls face prosecution -- and fines up to $5,000 -- for failing to file audited financial statements that disclose how they raised and spent money during their 2010 civic election campaigns.

Five out of eight candidates who registered to run for mayor -- including Rav Gill, who appeared on the ballot -- and two registered council candidates did not file audited statements as required by Winnipeg's election laws, city campaign expenses and contributions officer Bill Treytiak revealed in a report.

All seven can expect prosecution, senior election official Marc Lemoine said on Thursday, noting the city took all seven candidates who failed to file audited statements during the 2004 civic byelection to court in 2006.

Campaign officer Treytiak is also recommending the city require future candidates to plunk down a refundable cash deposit upon registration, in an effort to "reduce the frivolous candidates, who do not take the election process seriously enough to fulfil their obligations."

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 7/7/2011 (2901 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Seven former Winnipeg mayoral and council hopefuls face prosecution — and fines up to $5,000 — for failing to file audited financial statements that disclose how they raised and spent money during their 2010 civic election campaigns.

Five out of eight candidates who registered to run for mayor — including Rav Gill, who appeared on the ballot — and two registered council candidates did not file audited statements as required by Winnipeg's election laws, city campaign expenses and contributions officer Bill Treytiak revealed in a report.

 ‘It’s unfortunate. We thought we were $180 in the clear and we wound up overspending by $820. We were off by $1,000’ — Grant Nordman

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

‘It’s unfortunate. We thought we were $180 in the clear and we wound up overspending by $820. We were off by $1,000’ — Grant Nordman

All seven can expect prosecution, senior election official Marc Lemoine said on Thursday, noting the city took all seven candidates who failed to file audited statements during the 2004 civic byelection to court in 2006.

Campaign officer Treytiak is also recommending the city require future candidates to plunk down a refundable cash deposit upon registration, in an effort to "reduce the frivolous candidates, who do not take the election process seriously enough to fulfil their obligations."

In 2004, the list of election scofflaws included former councillors Al Golden, Garth Steek, Shirley Timm-Rudolph and Ken Wong. The maximum fine meted out in 2006 was $1,100, Lemoine said.

Along with Gill, who finished fourth in the mayoral race, this year's list includes fifth-place Charleswood-Tuxedo candidate Livio Ciaralli, short-lived Old Kildonan candidate Ray Bach, who withdrew before the ballot was set, and four mayoral candidates who failed to submit nomination papers: Ed Ackerman, Ron Dyck, Avery Petrowski and Nancy Thomas.

All seven, if convicted, face fines up to $5,000 and will be barred from running in the next civic election.

"I don't want to say it's not a big deal, because I know it's against the law," said Gill, who intends to file his expenses late to see if that can avert prosecution.

Campaign officer Treytiak is not recommending prosecution for seven other candidates who broke election rules.

Mayoral contender Rav Gill is one of seven candidates who faces prosecution.

TREVOR HAGAN / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS ARCHIVES

Mayoral contender Rav Gill is one of seven candidates who faces prosecution.

The highest-profile offender is St. Charles Coun. Grant Nordman, who spent $820 more on his campaign than he was allowed to spend in his ward. The excess spending amounted to three per cent of the overall campaign limit and does not constitute a serious offence, noted Treytiak.

Nevertheless, Nordman was embarrassed, as he serves as council speaker and is responsible for rules and regulations at city council.

"It's unfortunate. We thought we were $180 in the clear and we wound up overspending by $820. We were off by $1,000," he said, apologizing for what he described as an accounting error. "Learning about it six months after the fact does not give us a chance to fix it."

Failing to file audited statements is a more serious offence because it doesn't allow the public to see how candidates raised and spent money, Lemoine said.

The other six candidates who broke the rules exceeded the $750 limit for spending on their own campaigns, a new rule instituted by the province. In 2010, several city councillors spoke out against the rule, calling it impossible to enforce when it arises as the unintended consequence of campaign fundraising shortfalls.

Treytiak also noted four out of these six candidates only exceeded their personal limits because the cost of their campaign audits was included in their personal spending. As a result, Treytiak recommended the city declare audits exempt from campaign-spending rules.

A civic committee will consider the campaign-finance report on Monday.

bartley.kives@freepress.mb.ca

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