Former Newmarket Mayor and wannabe Liberal MP Tony Van Bynen told election candidates in 2014 that “voters deserve facts”.
What he said then is still very relevant today. We don’t want to send someone to Ottawa who is economical with the actualité.
In 2014 in the run-up to the municipal election that year Van Bynen told us:
“Voters deserve facts. Using partial information to mislead residents is irresponsible and dishonest… All candidates have a duty to be truthful to those whom you seek to serve when you run for public office. Voters deserve facts.”
In April 2015, the Toronto Star ran a story which claimed Van Bynen received remuneration and benefits in 2014 totalling $182,000.
Van Bynen was offended by this, responding to journalist Debra Kelly by tweet on 11 April 2015:
“FYI Star article is incorrect. It should read $151K not $182K. Will ask Star to Correct. Includes both Town and Region.”
On 18 April 2015 the Star published a correction saying Van Bynen’s salary and benefits was misstated. It was not $182,000. It was rather $159,856.84.
In seven days Van Bynen’s $151,000 had morphed into $159,856.
Van Bynen also did not declare (as he should by law have done) the $8,004 retainer from Newmarket Tay Hydro that he gets for sitting on the Board plus $200 a day for eight meetings in the course of the year. This comes to $9,604 which should be added to the $159,856 bringing his real remuneration up to $169,460. The Hydro sinecure goes with being Mayor.
The Sunshine List put Van Bynen’s salary and total taxable benefits for 2014 at $113,921.
The Sunshine List is, of course, deeply flawed. The Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act 1996 requires organisations that receive public funding from the Province of Ontario to make public, by 31 March each year, the names, positions, salaries and total taxable benefits of employees paid $100,000 or more in the previous calendar year. Its design excludes the $50,000+ “stipend” from York Region and income from the Hydro Board which Van Bynen only gets by virtue of being Mayor of Newmarket.
I do not comment here on the rich array of benefits Van Bynen enjoyed in 2014 – the leased car paid for by the taxpayers, the maintenance costs, the iPad, the free phone, OMERS, Canada Pension Plan, life insurance, health and dental cover and all the rest. And then there are the infamous free lunches. Years of dining out on our dollar.
As we gear up for the 2019 Federal Election I hope our wannabe Liberal MP will remember his stern warnings of five years ago when he told candidates for elected office they had a duty to be truthful and not play fast and loose with the facts.
For voters in Newmarket-Aurora who are leaning Liberal and want an MP who knows how to manage his money then the Voice for Fiscal Prudence is the man for you, watching out for your interests while looking after his own.
The Newmarket statement of remuneration and expenses 2014 is here. And York Region's Statement of Remuneration for 2014 is here. And this is how the Canada Revenue Agency deals with severance payments.