Coteau first leadership campaign to make donations public

Third-term MPP calls for real-time disclosure of political contributions 

TORONTO—Ontario Liberal leadership contender Michael Coteau today became the first candidate in the race to disclose his campaign donations, and called for changes to the province’s Election Finances Act to require real-time financial disclosure of political contributions in all Ontario elections and leadership contests. 

Coteau’s disclosure shows broad-based and growing support for the third-term MPP for Don Valley East. In just 10 business days in late July and the first week of August, he received over 200 donations from all across Ontario. With 76 percent of his donations at $100 or less, 98 percent processed online and a low average donation of $210, he revealed a broad grassroots, small-dollar fundraising base with sustainable support among Ontarians.

“Ordinary Ontarians from all walks of life want a real alternative to Doug Ford and the Conservatives, and I am honoured that they are giving what they can to support me for Liberal leader," said Coteau. "For too long, the political agenda in this province has been controlled by the wealthy and well-connected, and we're demonstrating how we're opening up politics."

“The Ontario Liberal Party needs to be renewed through a sustainable, grassroots effort,” said Coteau. “We need to demonstrate that the same-old, same-old approach of just securing big donations is behind us, and that we’re a new party that can appeal to every person in this province—where the grassroots chip in together to restore decency to politics.”

Coteau accompanied his fundraising disclosure with a pledge to reform Ontario’s Election Finances Act to require provincial election and leadership candidates to provide real-time financial disclosure of their campaign contributions. Current regulations require leadership candidates to disclose donations to Elections Ontario every 10 business days. 

“Voters deserve to know who is donating to candidates and how much before they make their choice at the ballot box,” said Coteau. “In the digital age where information moves quickly, there’s no reason why this level of transparency can’t be achievable. This is essential for building trust and showing voters their voice matters.” 

Since launching his leadership campaign:

  • Coteau is consistently the most searched-for candidate in the race according to Google Trends, which has emerged as a leading indicator of popular political support.
  • Coteau has signed up more than 1,100 volunteers and supporters in ridings province-wide.
  • Coteau has an organic Twitter impression rate of over 2.1 million. 
  • Coteau raised roughly $45,000 from 200 donors in the first 10 business days of the race in late July and the first week of August. (Elections Ontario only publishes donations over $100.) 
  • He continues to average roughly $4,000 in donations per day.

“I’m running to defeat this Conservative government with a team that knows how to compete to win in 2022, one step at a time,” he said. “The openness and transparency in my campaign shows we’re truly different from Doug Ford and committed to doing better, and people who share that goal are welcome to join us.”

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