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Keeping a cap on contributions: Deadline come and gone for politicians to reveal who contributed to their campaigns


While not a lot of money is funneled into municipal election campaigns, there are still rules on campaign donations. There are limits on individual donations and total donations, including donations from developers.

"Developers are very interested in municipal councils,” said Municipal Affairs Expert and Western Professor Emeritus Andrew Sancton. “Municipal councils are making important decisions that effect their work."

The limit on donations to individual candidates is $1,200. Only $5,000 total can be given to all candidates running for city council.

Candidates had until 2 p.m. Friday to declare their donations.

Even before all filings were posted on the city website, it was clear York Developments President Ali Soufan had surpassed the $5,000 total, giving $7,400 to seven candidates.

Sancton believes it is likely just an oversight, and told CTV News London, "The likelihood of being caught is very high and, as I say, mistakes happen and it could well be that that's what happened in this case."

Former London council member Sandy Levin agrees. He said while there are always concerns that someone can exert undo influence on a council, or individual council members, he doesn't see campaign donations as an issue.

"I don't think any member of any council that their decisions hinge on campaign donations,” he said.

Levin said most campaigns simply don't rely heavily on such donations.

“You don't need them. I mean, when I ran I didn't take them from the industry. I was asked by one, and said ‘No’. Another wrote me a check and I sent it back,” he said.

Sancton said the challenge with the total contributions is that an overage can only be identified after all the filings are in.

In a statement to CTV News London, City of London Media Relations Manager Jo Ann Johnston said any instances of over contributions are reported to the Compliance Audit Committee.

The committee will then decide next steps, which could include court proceedings.

CTV News London contacted Ali Soufan for comment but did not received a response. Top Stories

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