Questions about third-party advertising
Letter to the Editor from Allan Baker, Oro Medonte
An acquaintance wrote as follows to the Clerk at Oro-Medonte challenging the validity of granting Third Party Advertiser status to the controversial Friends of Oro-Medonte.
Dear Ms. Way, as you by now undoubtedly know that 2649998 Ontario Ltd, operating as “Friends of Oro-Medonte” was incorporated on August 13, 2018, for the express purpose of enabling four individuals to use that corporation to comment on the candidates for the upcoming municipal election. That this was the sole and only purpose that these four individuals incorporated the company is admitted by Greg Groen one of the four. The corporation does not and has not carried on business in the province of Ontario as is required for a corporation to qualify as a third party in the election. You have the power to delist it as a third party. It is not an answer to say that you did not originally know why it was incorporated since it is obvious from the incorporating documents when it was incorporated, that it applied for third party status almost immediately afterward, and that it did not carry on any business. Even if you did not know what its purpose was then, you undoubtedly know it now. It is my opinion that to refuse to delist it immediately is a dereliction of your duty as the township Clerk,and may be perceived as taking sides in favour of “Friends of Oro-Medonte”.
The clerk’s form letter response – to the effect that the clerk has neither the responsibility nor the authority to request documentation pertaining to how third party advertisers carry on their business – raises 2 important points. Regulations state that only corporations that are carrying on businessare eligible for TPA registration. The word “business”in the context of a corporation means trade in the pursuit of financial profit. The Friends of OM openly admit that they incorporated solely to become a TPA – not to carry on business. Instead, their incorporation is a vehicle behind which they promote and discredit candidates to suit their political views.
Secondly, the clerk now aware of the purpose of the incorporation has no intention of doing anything about the misrepresentation and deregistering it. The question is why?