17 of 20 Tantramar candidates reveal campaign donations & expenses

Tantramar mayoralty candidates Shawn Mesheau (L) Bonnie Swift and Andrew Black

Seventeen of the 20 candidates running in the Tantramar municipal election have responded to a Warktimes request for information about campaign donors, the amounts they gave and total campaign expenses.

Mayoralty candidate Shawn Mesheau stuck with his initial response that there is no requirement under the Municipal Elections Act for candidates to keep track of their campaign donations or expenditures and Warktimes received no response from Ward 3 candidates Charles Harvey and Sana Mohamad.

Andrew Black, who won the mayoralty race, sent this spreadsheet:

Mayoralty candidate Bonnie Swift also sent a spreadsheet:

Ward 1

Debbie Wiggins-Colwell, who won the race in Ward 1, said she had one private donation of $100 to pay the rental for a candidate meet and greet. She did not disclose the name of the donor. She paid the rest of her campaign expenses, which came to $1,075.25: Advocate Printing $985.55 and postal costs $89.70.

Robert Corkerton reported total campaign spending of $777.00 with one donation from Carla Gillis of $3.00 for a bag of foam paint brushes.

Ward 2

Barry Hicks, who won the contest in Ward 2, sent the following message: “I didn’t spend any money. I chose to speak to people personally and didn’t spend anything on signage.”

Kevin Scott e-mailed to say: “I didn’t receive any donations and spent $120 out of my own pocket for my campaign.”

Wendy Epworth said she had no donors and spent $354.21 on a campaign website.

Natalie Donaher wrote: “I’m confirming no donations to my campaign. I spent time on a website but no money, my campaign total was $0.

Ward 3

Ward 3 candidates who responded to Warktimes’ request for information, L-R: Josh Goguen, Bruce Phinney, Alice Cotton, Virgil Hammock, Allison Butcher, Sahitya Pendurthi, Michael Tower

The Ward 3 candidates, who responded to Warktimes’ request for campaign donations and spending, are listed in order of the number of votes they received beginning with the four who were elected:

Allison Butcher e-mailed to say: “This is an easy answer for me. My signs were made by my children with paint we already owned and scrap lumber. I had no campaign donors. My total is zero dollars.”

Michael Tower reported that he had no donations to his campaign and that he and his wife drafted and created all of his campaign materials. His total spending of $90.57 was for photocopying.

Bruce Phinney, who has served on Sackville Town Council since 2004, responded: “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.”

Josh Goguen responded that he paid his total campaign expenses of $220.81 out of his own pocket and did not receive any donations. The expenses were: $94.28 for pamphlets; $76.53 for Facebook advertising and $50.00 to RD Print for election signs that were worth $122.00 (The difference in what he paid and total sign value was “compensation for work done/barter.”)

Alice Cotton responded with this message: “Here we go: 384.00 for lawn signs from Hansen Signs Ltd., 58.00 for the printing of handbills by Mount Allison’s print shop. Rob Lyon designed my lawn sign from a photo taken by Peter Stephenson, free of charge. I paid for the printing of the lawn signs and of the handbills. I did not pay for any advertising on Facebook, though I did contemplate it.”

Sahitya Pendurthi wrote that she didn’t spend any money on her campaign.

Virgil Hammock responded that he had “zero donations” and “I have spent zero dollars running for council. I have done everything online by myself.”

Ward 4

Matt Estabrooks, who won the council seat in Ward 4, e-mailed to say: “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.”

Sabine Dietz reported no donors and total campaign spending of $900.00.

Note: Greg Martin, who was elected by acclamation, did not need to campaign in Ward 5 because no one ran against him.

Public disclosure rules in other provinces

  1. Nova Scotia requires municipal candidates to list the names and addresses of anyone who contributes $50 or more and that information must be filed at the municipal office where it is open to the public.
  2. Prince Edward Island requires disclosure of names and addresses of those who contribute more than $250.
  3. Newfoundland and Labrador requires candidates to disclose the names of contributors who give more than $100.
  4. Quebec requires disclosure of donations over $50.
  5. Ontario requires disclosure of donations over $100.
  6. Manitoba requires disclosure of amounts over $250.
  7. Saskatchewan leaves contribution disclosure rules up to municipal councils who can pass a bylaw governing local elections.
  8. Alberta requires municipal candidates to disclose the names and addresses of donors whose contributions exceed $50.
  9. British Columbia requires disclosure of amounts over $100.
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