The Tantramar mayoralty candidates outlined differing positions on revealing campaign donations and their total campaign spending when they responded to questions from Warktimes e-mailed to them on November 15.
The candidates were asked if, after the election, they would commit (1) to publishing the names of campaign donors (2) revealing the amount of money or the value of services that each donor contributed and, (3) publishing the total amount of their campaign spending.
Bonnie Swift reaffirmed her commitment “to publish my donors’ names and what they gave me. However, if a donor didn’t want their name published, I would protect their privacy.” She added that she will reveal her total campaign spending.
Shawn Mesheau responded with a message signed by a member of his campaign team that read:
“Candidate Mesheau is following all of the rules as set out under the elections act for municipal elections. There are no rules requiring candidates to keep track of contributions or expenditures related to their campaign. Candidates are not required to file a financial return at the conclusion of the election. It is our understanding that by the time of the 2026 municipal elections the provincial government has indicated that they will be addressing these requirements. Candidate Mesheau will be reviewing the campaign finances with his team at the end of the campaign and will share appropriate information through social media platforms in keeping with the municipal elections act requirements.”
Andrew Black responded: “Yes to all three questions!”
Ward 1 candidate Robert Corkerton answered yes to all three questions: “I will make that commitment without issue,” he wrote.
Debbie Wiggins-Colwell, who is also running in Ward 1, wrote: “Had one private donation for one hundred dollars. My own funding was Advocate Printing nine hundred, eighty-five dollars and fifty-five cents and postal cost eighty-nine dollars and seventy cents. Total of one thousand, seventy-five and twenty-five cents. The private donation was used for rent for meet and greet.”
Ward 2 candidates Natalie Donaher, Wendy Epworth, Barry Hicks and Kevin Scott said they would reveal donors, donations and total spending.
Ward 3 candidates Allison Butcher, Alice Cotton, Josh Goguen, Sahitya Pendurthi and Michael Tower pledged full disclosure.
Bruce Phinney wrote: “I have no money donations, just verbal support. I spent no money on my campaign. I had signs left over from the last two elections.”
Virgil Hammock sent this answer: “Of course, yes to all questions. But the real answer is that I have zero donations and I have spent zero dollars running for council. I have done everything online by myself. I will not accept any donations between now and the election. Nothing is needed.”
Warktimes did not receive a response from Ward 3 candidates Charles Harvey and Sana Mohamad.
Ward 4 candidate Sabine Dietz responded that she has not had any campaign donations, but did have door-knocking help and will reveal total campaign spending.
Matt Estabrooks, who is also running in Ward 4, wrote: “I am able to provide the answers to your questions now. 1. No donors to my campaign. 2. No donors and therefore no funding or in kind services received for my campaign. 3. $245 of personal funds spent at Payzant Home Hardware on exterior paint and one sheet of 3/4” plywood. To hand paint and construct my one election sign installed on my own property. That is the extent of my personal spending on this election.”