My opponent for Regional Councillor, Tom Vegh, refuses to tell me if he will solicit campaign donations from people intimately connected with the development industry as he did in 2018 or whether he will return money from development industry people that is unsolicited.
I asked for this information over a month ago.
His lips are buttoned up.
I have told Tom Vegh that he will not be able to get through this campaign without telling the voters where his money is coming from.
I would not dream of taking money from people in the development industry.
To be clear, the law prohibits corporate and trade union donations to municipal candidates. But there is nothing to prevent them donating as individuals - which is what they do.
Cascades of cash
In total, Vegh received 39 cash donations in the last campaign in 2018.
$33,150 (or 78%) came from development industry people or those in the eco-system that supports it.
$7,200 (22%) came from non-development industry people or from donors whose status was uncertain. I therefore included them with the non-development industry people.
Only 7 out of 39 donations (18%) came from donors located in Newmarket. And of these only four were from people in his own Ward 1 which he had represented for many years.
Vegh told Newmarket Today on 3 September 2022 that he had received donations from other professions as well:
"whether from those associated with grocery stores or fitness studios".
I can identify one donation from each of those categories.
From Bridal Path to Vaughan
The other 32 development industry donations came from a variety of places - from the wealthy Bridal Path in Toronto to Woodbridge to Vaughan.
The full list of donors is set out below.
Those with links to the development industry and the eco-system that supports it (such as consultancies) are highlighted in yellow.
It is a roll-call of the movers and shakers in Ontario's development industry.
The Financial Statement is a public document which must, by law, be submitted by candidates to the Town after every election. It is posted on the Town of Newmarket website.
Nothing wrong with taking the money
Vegh says the money poured in from development industry people after he was elected in 2018.
He did not see anything wrong with this even though he had a $30,000 deficit to clear.
He told Newmarket Today he was not corrupt.
Vegh says he refused money from (unspecified) donors but doesn't say why.
"After the election I started receiving a lot of cheques and some of those I sent back for one reason or another, if I wasn't comfortable accepting it.
But there's a few that I said, "Yeah, OK"."
We don't need the names of the people whose cheques he returned.
Just the reasons he sent them back.
Below: Extract from Tom Vegh's Financial Statement submitted to the Town of Newmarket on 27 March 2019 as required by the Municipal Elections Act 1996 (Section 88.25)