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Faith Goldy is challenging attempts to audit her campaign finances

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Peter Nolan-Smith Apr 25, 2019 3:19 pm 50

Former Toronto mayoral candidate and alt-right provocateur Faith Goldy is appealing an application that would see her personal finances audited along with her 2018 campaign finances.

An application submitted to the City of Toronto by Evan Balgord, executive director of the Toronto-based Canadian Anti-Hate Network, levels allegations against Goldy for allegedly accepting donations from outside of Ontario during her run for mayor, a violation of the Municipal Election Act.

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Goldy took legal action against a media network for refusing to run her campaign advertisements during the election. Goldy placed third, with 3.40% of the vote, behind sitting Mayor John Tory (63.49%), and former chief city planner Jennifer Keesmaat (23.59%).

“During the campaign Faith Goldy launched a lawsuit against Bell Media,” the application reads. “She solicited donations of any amount from anywhere to support this lawsuit in contravention of the Municipal Elections Act.

“She confirms money intended for the lawsuit was collected by her campaign.”

Goldy is refuting the claims of the application, and has submitted a response to the city’s Compliance Audit Committee on the matter. She notes that her official campaign finances have been submitted to an auditor and denies that there are grounds for her personal accounts to be included.

“An application that does not evidence a belief on reasonable grounds is not proper, and if the committee finds that such a belief is not evidenced on the material before it, then it should dismiss the application on that basis,” the document says.

Citing previous cases, she maintains that the job of the committee is to serve as a “gatekeeper,” and to “provide a check against the potential for frivolous or politically-driven charges against candidates for elected office.”

She goes on to address each of the accusations in detail, maintaining that all funds were managed properly, while alleging that Balgord’s former role as special assistant to Mayor John Tory, and his work with the CAHN, are the true reason for the application.

Balgord, for his part, includes quotes from Goldy’s YouTube posts — in which she requests donations from “supporters of democracy worldwide”– that he believes confirms her intent to solicit money from supporters outside the province.

His application states that since she accepted the money via e-transfer that her personal accounts should also “be captured by a compliance audit to determine if funds intended for her campaign are being used as intended and properly recorded separately from her income at the time.”

Goldy, in her response to the application, makes a point that Balgord points to specifically.

The laws around the municipal elections show that individual donor contributions cannot exceed more than $1,200 per single candidate. Candidates themselves can make a contribution to their own campaign, as long as the amount does not exceed $25,000. 

A contribution Goldy says she made in her submission to the committee:

28. The Candidate made a $25,000 donation to her own campaign, which was used to cover legal fees incurred.

29. The Candidate did not make any additional donations before or after the total amount listed in the point above.

30. There is no provision in the Act to require an audit of a candidate’s personal donation.

31. There is no provision in the Act to require a candidate’s personal donation be generated from within provincial boundaries.

“Goldy seems to be indicating that the out-of-province donations she solicited were routed through her personal accounts before forming part or the whole of her personal contribution of $25,000 to her campaign,” Balgor told Daily Hive, in an email, “which subverts (if not breaks) the provisions in the Municipal Election Act and, very ironically, is an excellent argument as to why her personal accounts must be captured in an audit of her campaign finances.”

Goldy maintains she did not violate the act.

In a pinned post to her Twitter account, she shared an image of her scheduled tribunal before the committee on April 29, encouraging supporters to attend.

This article was updated to indicate that Goldy is only contesting access to her personal accounts, not her official campaign accounts, which have already been submitted to an auditor. Also to include comment from the Canadian Anti-Hate Network. 

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