Ottawa mayoral contender Clive Doucet plans to add his name to a growing list of candidates who are choosing to disclose their campaign donations ahead of the Oct. 22 vote.
“I think it’s the right thing to do,” Doucet said Thursday. “People should understand who is funding you.”
He plans to release his list sometime in the next two days, he said.
All candidates must disclose their campaign finances by law, but not until March, when the election is long over.
Doucet said voters should be able to see how candidates have paid for their campaigns before they decide how to cast their ballots. He’s been a vocal opponent to developer influence at city hall, and said voters want to know if their candidates are receiving money from people who stand to benefit from planning applications that need the approval of council.
Mayor Jim Watson has not responded to inquiries about his donor list. In an interview with CBC’s Ottawa Morning earlier this month, Watson defended his decision to accept developer donations.
“It’s a bit of an urban myth that city hall is controlled by people outside of city hall,” Watson said at time.
Other candidates releasing lists
Several other municipal candidates disagree with the mayor’s position, and have sworn not to knowingly accept money from developers because of the potential for a perceived conflict of interest. Other have gone further, releasing their campaign contributors to prove their claim.
Those lists have not been audited and could change before or even after the election.
Raylene Lang-Dion, running in Alta Vista, was the first candidate to release a list donors, on Sept. 26.
“I have been clear from the start of this campaign that I want to avoid any real or perceived conflict of interest,” she said in a news release.
Lang-Dion disclosed her donations after news broke that the ward’s incumbent, Coun. Jean Cloutier, was planning a campaign fundraiser with developers. That event has since been cancelled. Cloutier has also released his donations, along with fellow Alta Vista candidates Kevin Kit and John Redins.
Theresa Kavanagh in Bay ward, Emilie Coyle in Collegeward and Judy Varga-Toth in West Carleton-March have also released their donations.
The audited financial documents of all candidates will be available to the public in March 2019.