An article in the Toronto Star January 18, 2012 infers that Wind Concerns Ontario, a grass roots volunteer organization, supposedly spent more then the allowed amount during the recent Ontario election campaign. WCO was accused by Jude MacDonald and her lawyer, the famed criminal lawyer, Clayton Ruby of “running a negative advertising campaign against Liberal candidates.”
The response by the past President of WCO, John Laforet, was clear that “the spending allegations are completely false” and he went on to note that WCO had no advertising budget. In fact, WCO has no paid staff, operates on a shoestring budget supported only by nominal individual and group memberships.
The involvement by the renowned criminal lawyer, Clayton Ruby would appear to be in keeping with his biography posted on the web which indicates he “has devoted his professional career to ensuring that those who are underprivileged and those who face discrimination are given equal access to the legal system of this country.” It would appear that he supports the Elections Act and all it stands for by ensuring that the standards and regulations underpinning the act are observed in their entirety and for that we applaud him.
His biography however, does indicate he is or was a “prominent member of the environmental community.” and “was made an honorary director of the Sierra Legal Defence Fund after serving on its board for many years. He was also a director of the Greenpeace Canada Charitable Foundation.”
Both Greenpeace and the Sierra Club are in favour of industrial wind turbines and the Sierra Club were out on the hustings stumping for the re-election of Liberal candidates and the retention of the Green Energy Act (GEA).
Environmental Defence had an extensive campaign that included an 8-year-old girl during September 2011 out stumping for election of candidates that supported the GEA. During the recent election campaign the only party that supported the GEA in its entirety was the Ontario Liberal Party. Environmental Defence were not registered with Elections Ontario and certainly spent considerably more than the Act would allow during the campaign period yet Jude MacDonald and Mr. Ruby do not appear to have gone after them.
I am a Board member of WCO and I personally (without the aid of someone of Mr. Ruby's stature) submitted a complaint (October 2011) to Elections Ontario which amongst other names included both the Sierra Club and Environmental Defence. I await the outcome of their investigation.
January 21, 2012