Menard $300K donation defended

Councillor Shawn Menard and others have countered the attacks on his integrity by Councillors Luloff and Hubley over a developer donation. It’s important to note that a) Community Benefit Agreement donations are a common practice, b) the donation was approved by the City at every step, c) this was money earmarked to offset impacts of a developer high-rise in the community, not for the councillor. In contrast, both Luloff and Hubley received among the highest donations from developer-related individuals for their 2022 election campaigns. The only questions here are why the criminal record of the donor company’s founder was not raised earlier by anyone and why the City lacks a tight policy around such donations.

Mayor Sutcliffe now wants developer donations to be a thing of the past, stating ““City council are the decision makers about development applications. If at the same time that a development application is being considered, a city councillor is negotiating a contribution from the development company, it raises the perception that those two things could be connected. It raises that perception in the public’s eye. It raises that perception in the eyes of the developer.” Exactly what ReImagine Ottawa has been saying, Mr. Mayor!

What you can do: write to the mayor and councillors to ask them to support a policy of zero developer-related donations to council candidates’ election campaigns. Open an email to them all on our Resources page.

Did your councillor accept donations from these sources? See “Follow the Money,” the 2022 analysis of such donations done by Horizon Ottawa.

Shawn Menard responds