Skip to main content

Bonnie Crombie defends near $1M in campaign donations in bid for Ontario Liberal leader

Bonnie Crombie has raised nearly one million dollars in her bid for leadership of the Ontario Liberals, tens of thousands of which appear to have come from one developer based in the Toronto area.

According to the latest data from Elections Ontario, Crombie, who took a leave from her role as Mississauga mayor in September, has raised just under $937,000 as of Monday. Of the near-million dollar sum, more than $30,000 came from 10 individuals who share names with executives at Vaughan development company, HBNG Holborn Group.

In an email sent to supporters on Monday, Crombie responded to criticism from key opponents Nate Erskine-Smith, Yasir Naqvi, and Ted Hsu, all of whom brought up the developer donations In a debate held on Sept. 14 in Thunder Bay, Ont.

Crombie's opponents claim that she has failed to build sufficient housing in Mississauga, pointing to the recent Ontario Greenbelt scandal.

“Are we going to win with a leader who has a track record of failing to build homes with that experience?,” Erskine-Smith asked during the debate.

“And are we going to win with a leader who said they're going to open up the Greenbelt and then the next week said, I didn't mean it, the Greenbelt is sacred? How do you build trust?”

In the email, Crombie continued to defend herself while sharing the million-dollar fundraising figure with her supporters.

"Our campaign has followed all campaign-finance rules," Crombie wrote."Every single time. All leadership donations are capped at a maximum of $3,350 and are disclosed publicly."

Since the beginning of this year, the Liberal Party has raised approximately $600,000, while the Progressive Conservatives have raised more than ten times that, a figure Crombie called “unacceptable” in the email.

"It is clearer than ever that Doug Ford must be defeated in the next election," Crombie continued in the email. "And if he is raising $10 for every loonie we raise, we will lose. That is not acceptable to me."

Liberal party members across Ontario will vote for their new leader in November. The winner will be announced in December.

With files from The Canadian Press Top Stories

Ontario doctors disciplined over Israel-Gaza protests

A number of doctors are facing scrutiny for publicizing their opinions on the Israel-Hamas war. Critics say expressing their political views could impact patient care, while others say that it is being used as an excuse for censorship.

'No concessions' St-Onge says in $100M a year news deal with Google

The Canadian government has reached a deal with Google over the Online News Act that will see the tech giant pay $100 million annually to publishers, and continue to allow access to Canadian news content on its platform. This comes after Google had threatened to block news on its platform when the contentious new rules come into effect next month.

Live updates

Live updates Hamas frees 10 Israeli women and children, 4 Thai nationals

Ten Israeli women and children and four Thai nationals held captive in Gaza were freed by Hamas, and Israel followed with the release of a group of Palestinian prisoners Thursday. It was the latest exchange of hostages for prisoners under a temporary ceasefire in the Gaza war. Two Russian-Israeli women were also freed by Hamas in a separate release.


opinion Don Martin: With Trudeau resignation fever rising, a Conservative nightmare appears

With speculation rising that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will follow his father's footsteps in the snow to a pre-election resignation, political columnist Don Martin focuses on one Liberal cabinet minister who's emerging as leadership material -- and who stands out as a fresh-faced contrast to the often 'angry and abrasive' leader of the Conservatives.

Stay Connected