Two Weeks Till Deadline and Half of Council Still Needs to File Expenses

Although the 2018 Municipal Election has been over for a while, there’s still matters of paperwork that need to be completed. On March 29, all the financial statements for candidates and third party advertisers from the last fall’s elections are due to the City Clerk, but as of right now only five members of the current city council have submitted theirs.

Councillors Dan Gibson, Rodrigo Goller, Phil Allt, June Hofland, and Dominique O’Rourke have all filed their financial statements. Seven other candidates – Mark Gernon, Jax Thornton, Dorothe Fair, Sudha Sharma, Patrick Sheridan, Matt Saunders,  and Brendan Clark – have also completed their disclosures.

The average amount of contributions received by each candidate was $4,397.83. On the low end, you have Ward 2 candidate Sharma declare $0 in contributions, while Ward 1 candidate Thornton has claimed $90.40 in campaign donations.

On the high-end it seems that the successful candidates also raised the most. Ward 6 Councillor O’Rourke raised the most so far according to the returned financial statements with $9,436.02. Ward 1 Councillor Dan Gibson is currently second with $7,753.36 in fundraising followed by Ward 3 Councillor Phil Allt with $7,675, and Ward 2 Councillor Rodrigo Goller with $6,762.

The one exception to the high fundraising figures for incumbents so far is Ward 3 Councillor June Hofland with $3,684.99.

Of the challengers that have filed, Ward 2 candidate Dorothe Fair raised the most with $5,350.15, followed by Patrick Sheridan in Ward 3 with $3,393.10, Ward 1’s Mark Gernon with $3,653.96, and Ward 4’s Matt Saunders and Brendan Clark with $2,843.08 and $2,131.86 respectively.

Meanwhile, the City is still waiting for many school board candidates to submit their expenses. As of Friday, only six of the 20 Upper Grand District School Board candidates have filed their expenses, while all six of the Wellington Catholic District School Board candidates have handed in their papers.

Facts About Financial Statements

According to the City’s website, the deadline for filing all financial statements from the election is 2 pm on Friday March 29. Candidates can technically file anytime between now and then, but if you discover an error on your financial disclosures before the deadline, you can still file a correction before March 29 without incurring a penalty.

Penalty, you say? Yes, there’s a $500 late filing fee and you do not receive back your nomination fee if you file after March 29. Technically, there’s a 30-day grace period after the deadline, but you still forfeit the fee and pay the $500 penalty. Also, if you happen to hold office and you haven’t submitted your financial statements before the end of the grace period, then you will have to forfeit your office, and you won’t be allowed to run again until after he 2022 election.

If you do need more time though, you can apply for an extension before March 29 to the Superior Court of Justice. If you return the financial statements before the new deadline set by the court, then you can still recoup your nomination fee.

One more thing, if your campaign contributions or expenses exceed $10,000, then the financial statement must be audited, and that auditor’s report must be included in the financial statement handed in to the clerk.

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