April 5, 2023 at 10:40 am
2022 mayoral candidate and former MPP could face sanctions for violating campaign finance rules.
The deadline to submit financial information for the 2022 municipal campaign has passed, and the mayoral runner-up appears to have left out some required information in his application.
Khalil Ramal, a former member of the Fanshawe Provincial Assembly in London, received a donation that exceeded the $1,200 limit and did not include the addresses of anyone who had donated to his campaign.
“On our website, they write their name and the amount of the donation. We can’t get the address,” Lamar said in an interview with London News Today on Wednesday, noting that he was not aware of the province’s request to collect donations or address. “I should look up their name, call them and get their address. I call them.”
Under the Municipal Elections Act, candidates must track all donations over $100.
Ramal received 27 such donations, but did not record the addresses of any donors. Two donations — one worth $200 and the other $1,000 — did not include names or addresses.
The top donation came from Sil Palumbo, president of London-based developer Palumbo Homes, who donated $1,495.
Palumbo did not return a call from London Today seeking comment on the donation.
“I’m confused [donor limits]. Some people told me up to $2,500, others told me the Mayor of London up to $1,500. I saw someone in Toronto donating $2,500 for the mayor,” Ramal said.
Donations to Toronto mayoral candidates are capped at $2,500. The maximum donation for all other Ontario municipal competitions is $1,200.
When London News Today learned of the rule, Ramal said he would refund the $295 excess to Palumbo.
Ontario’s municipal election laws require candidates to keep the names and addresses of donors on file and submit them to municipalities as part of their close-of-election declaration.
“You need to list on your financial statements the name and address of every donor who contributed more than $100 to your campaign in total. You should record the name and address of every contributor, regardless of the value of their contributions, because the same A single contributor may make multiple contributions that end up totaling more than $100,” said the province’s List of Rules for Municipal Candidates explain.
Lamar could face sanctions over the missing information in its financial statements.
According to the election law, “a voter entitled to vote in an election who has reasonable grounds to believe that a candidate has violated the campaign finance provisions of this Act may apply for a campaign finance compliance audit of that candidate.”
If Lamar is found violating the law, he could face a fine or be barred from running in municipal elections in 2026.
Issues with the campaign also include the balance sheet.
His forms show he raised $15,515.66 during the campaign while spending $48,302.29 — a deficit of $32,786.63.
“I don’t want people paying for me. But I think I have to. I think that’s the way it is. You have to be responsible for it. I don’t want people paying my bills,” Ramal said. “I have to pay. It’s that simple. I’ll pay.”
Josh Morgan won the October 2022 mayoral race — with 46,283 votes. Lamar finished second — 30,371 votes behind Morgan.
“I don’t regret a minute [the campaign]said Lamar. I will continue to defend the people who voted for me.”
He also wished Morgan and the rest of the city council as they work to steer the city in key areas like homelessness and the environment.
Lamar was MPP for London-Fanshawe from 2003 to 2011.
He ran for the federal seat in 2015 but was defeated by Irene Mathyssen.
During the 2019 campaign, he tried again to seek the Liberal nomination but was rejected by party headquarters.