Nunziata challenged to refuse corporate and developer donations

It’s well known that a small number of people finance the election campaigns of most councillors in this city, especially incumbents. In Ward 12, much of this money comes from outside the ward and is no doubt given in expectation of future considerations. Brave are candidates who refuse such money as it’s harder to collect small amounts from a larger number of people.

Strictly speaking, only individuals can donate to a councillor’s election campaign and the cap on such donations is $750. In effect though, wealthy business owners can exert an undue influence as very few people can afford to donate so generously – even with the rebates that the city gives to donors. Toronto keeps track of complete donation lists on this website.

Here is a list of $400+ and/or well known donors to Councillor Nunziata‘s 2014 campaign. Few of these people lived in the ward the time and in fact more than a third of her donors didn’t even live in Toronto. Ward 11 residents are marked in blue.

  • Constantine Alexiou, (Ward 11), $600
  • Palvinder Aujla, (Mississauga) $750
  • Pritpal Aujla, (Mississauga) $750
  • Alex  Bela, (Richmond Hill) and Jack Matrosov (North York) $2000 – Checker Taxi
  • Maurizio Bicci, (Ward 17) $400
  • Gloria Bielak, (Forest Hill) $750 – St Helens Meat Packers
  • Adam Brown, (Yonge/Sheppard) $500
  • Roslyn Brown, (Downtown Toronto) $750
  • Fran Caplan, (York Mills / Yonge) $400
  • Frank Caruana, (Mississauga) $500
  • Paul Caruana, (Junction) $400
  • Chau Yan-Thoai, (Etobicoke) $400
  • Carlo Corsetti, (Richmond Hill) $400
  • Ettore Corsetti, (Newmarket) $400
  • Patrick Corsetti (East Guillimbury) $400
  • Manuel DaCosta, (King City) $750
  • Debra DeMonte (High Park) $400
  • Rueben Devlin, (North York) $200 – Former President & CEO Humber River Hospital
  • Robert Deluce, (Summerhill) $300 – President of Porter Airlines – Donated $3930 to 10 candidates (Holyday, Colle, Minnan Wong, Kelly Crisanti), 8 of whom won.
  • Sean Didierserre, (Forest Hill) $600
  • Thomas Erlich, (St Clair East / Mount Pleasant Road) $600
  • Bob Foley, (Ward 11) $400
  • Karla Ford, (Etobicoke) $750 – Doug Ford’s Wife
  • Masum Hossein (Mississauga) $200 – Weston BIA Chair
  • Gabriella Galli, (Ward 11) $400
  • Mitchell Goldhar, (North York) $350 – SmartCentres Real Estate Income Trust. Donated a total of $3300 to 9 candidates, all of whom won.
  • Khalid Irshad, (Milton) $400
  • Cameron Johnstone, (Georgetown) $600
  • John Johnstone, (Ancaster) $400
  • Jose Lourenco, (Davenport / Dufferin) $750
  • Terry Mantzukis, (Ward 11) Realtor $400
  • Alex Matrosov (Richmond Hill) Wheelchair Taxi business $750
  • Bela Matrosov (Richmond Hill) $750
  • Pina Morelli, (Woodbridge) $750
  • Holly Murdoch (Mississauga) $400
  • Tim Neeb (Mississauga) $400
  • Aleksander Nikolovski, (Eglinton / Spadina) $400
  • Frances Nunziata, $20
  • Frances Nunziata, $1613.42 – Signs and office supplies from previous campaign
  • Cormac O’Muiri, (Mississauga) $500
  • David Paiva, (Dufferin / Dupont) Luso Canadian Masonry Ltd. $750
  • Matthew Pantalone, (Etobicoke) $750 – Developer
  • Pat Pelosi, (Woodbridge) $750
  • George Politis, (Bolton) $400
  • Frank Raso, (Etobicoke) $400
  • John Ruddy, (Gloucester, ON) $750 Ottawa developer
  • Dero Sabatini, (Etobicoke) $400 Mississauga – TD Bank VP
  • Marvin Sadowski, (North York) $500 – Former Developer?
  • Stacey Scher, (Aurora) $600  – All Canadian Self Storage
  • Bruno Schickedanz, (Kettleby, ON) $750 – Developer and Woodbine horse owner
  • Conrad Schickedanz, (North York) $250 – Developer
  • Tony Scianitti, (Maple) $750 – Developer
  • George Seretis, (Thornhill) $400 – Easy Plastic Containers Vaughan
  • Darryl Simsovic, (Oakville) $400 CEO – Trillium College (Private career college)
  • Marcel Stirpe, (Woodbridge) $200 Toronto Chrysler
  • Paul Sutherland, (Grafton ON), $200, Former Toronto Councillor, now lobbyist. Involved in TPA Emery Village land purchase.
  • Tim Tallon, (Etobicoke) $400
  • Alan Tonks, (North York) $200 – Former YSW MP
  • Chris Tonks, (North York) $300 – TDSB Trustee
  • Alan Tregebov, (Deer Park) $200 – Architect
  • Steven Upton, (East Toronto) $600 – Tridel
  • Lou Vavaroustos,  (Woodbridge) $750 – Old Mill Cadillac
  • Susan Vavaroutsos, (Woodbridge) $750
  • John Ward, (Etobicoke) $500 – Ward Funeral Home
  • Jack Winberg, (North York) – $200 – Weston Hub Developer
  • Hua Yang, (Downtown Toronto) – $500
  • Don Yuill, (Ward 11) $500

Oddly, none of Ms Nunziata’s 135 donors donated less than $200.

The generous rebates offered to donors – even those living outside the city.

Chiara Padovani is  running against Councillor Nunziata (and if Doug Ford has his way, Ward 12 Councillor Frank DiGiorgio). She has stated that she will not accept donations from any business interests including developers.

One can ask if this is a strategic mistake that will hamstring Ms Padovani’s campaign or will voters choose to reward a candidate who does things differently?

7 thoughts on “Nunziata challenged to refuse corporate and developer donations”

  1. We have visible proof of developers being favoured in Weston, under Nunziata’s watch.

    In this analysis, we see what we see the results of on the ground here every day.

    Call a spade a spade, and let’s straighten up the line to our councillor who should be our voice in City Hall.

  2. Question:

    If you have or do legitimate business in a ward, and have done so with some amount of reasonable or relative success, for any amount of time – alongside any actual longtime or short time ward residents (property owners or renters), does that business owner not count for anything, other than serve you?

    Yes, $750 is a lot of money for many of us.

    But, relatively speaking it is a small amount – compared to what a real “assertive” developer might like to deliver to gain major influence, if that were possible.

    I don’t know.

    But some how, it would seem a bit unfair to be a business owner (of any kind, who provides a good or service) only to be told that you should have no voice and don’t deserve one in a community because you might not reside there.

    1. Nobody is suggesting that businesses should have no voice. It just seems as if the odds are stacked in favour of rich donors. A $5 or $10 donation is what most people would be prepared to pay yet the threshold for a rebate is $25.01. Most councillors don’t even bother with the small donations, instead accepting up to $750 from business owners, much of whose contribution is refunded. Basically, the city subsidizes these donations selectively, choosing to reward the rich.
      Businesses don’t “serve” anyone except themselves; they are there to make money, plain and simple. Often their need to make money clashes with the aspirations and quality of life of the public. Their undue financial influence sways councillors regardless of their denials.
      Most of us expect a councillor to be fair and work for the benefit of their thousands of constituents living in the ward rather than the fewer than 200 people who represent businesses. After all, it’s the people who pay councillors’ salaries; not business owners. Instead, it’s the other way around and the rich and powerful have a louder voice.

      My solution; make the donation limit $10.00 and do away with rebates. This would force councillors to work for the people and do some honest fundraising involving a more representative sampling of residents and business owners.

      1. Fair enough.
        Gripe noted, again.

        Hey, why not shoot for an even lesser campaign donation – the way the first Obama campaign got rolling – a dollar here, a dollar there on line. See who gets the most coinage for campaigning that way.

        Seriously, whether you pledge a little or a lot, trying to gain some favour or influence is not exclusive or unique to the two wards in question – or the incumbent(s).

        Frankly, I’ve never donated to the councillor’s or anyone’s campaign.

        Nor have I ever posted campaign signage – of any kind for anyone.

        Never will.

        And yet, whenever we’ve needed specific consideration or an assist from an elected representative around here, they’ve been approachable, they’ve listened and for the most part, they’ve come through for us, reasonably well.

        And, those folks over the years were Bob Rae (former MPP and NDP party leader), Alan Tonks (MP and former Mayor) and Frances Nunziata (former Mayor and Councillor).

        They all listened politely to the concerns presented and then did their best to act & assist with action.

        Things turned out better than expected, actually.

        I acknowledge that you can’t always get what you want or please everyone all the time – no matter the cost.

        But hey, here’s an inexpensive idea..

        In future (and like the saying goes),
        try some “honey instead of vinegar”.

        Often, good manners will get you a long way..
        ..and doesn’t cost much.

        Anyway, thanks for your time.

        1. Hey Anon, thanks for your articulate response.

          And yet, whenever we’ve needed specific consideration or an assist from an elected representative around here, they’ve been approachable, they’ve listened and for the most part, they’ve come through for us, reasonably well.

          That’s good that they have – it’s what they’re supposed to do and why they get paid so handsomely. Rob Ford listened and responded better than anyone to residents’ concerns but that alone didn’t make him a good councillor. His voting record sadly was one of denying funds to the very people he claimed to be working for – you know – the recipients of his $20 bills.
          The key work of a councillor often happens behind the scenes; negotiating with developers on behalf of the people to obtain the best possible deal in terms of building size, streetscape, liveability, design aesthetics and so on; finding ways to support fledgling businesses; voting for transit options that meet actual needs rather than to stay onside with the mayor; doing something about the condition of public housing…

          Being a councillor is a balancing act but at the moment, businesses have their thumbs firmly on the scale.

  3. I think it’s commendable that Padovani is not accepting donations from developers and corporate interests. They’ve had their say for far too long. We need to start speaking up in a meaningful way.
    I for one think all residents of Ward 11 who support a change in who speaks for us at city hall should put their money, however little they wish to donate, on the line, and then get out to vote on election day.

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