Regina’s civic election may be long over, but the public is now learning what council candidates spent on their campaigns in 2016.
As required by legislation, expense forms from all candidates — successful or not — had to be submitted within 90 days of the Oct. 26 election.
Michael Fougere easily had the highest expense total of any fellow candidate for mayor or who ran for councillor, spending $38,899. That was roughly $30,000 more than anyone else. However, it was well under what Fougere spent in 2012 when he first ran for mayor. That year his expenses totalled $61,614.
Ward 2 councillor Bob Hawkins spent a total of $9,793.08 on his campaign, putting him second in spending and well behind Fougere.
Tony Fiacco, Fougere’s closest competitor in the mayoral race, tallied $2,416.83.
Not all candidates submitted their expense forms.
“Our records indicate that of the 50 candidates for a seat on council, so that includes mayor and councillors, 10 out of 50 did not file their expenses,” said city clerk Jim Nicol, who also served as the municipal election’s chief returning officer.
Every individual that was elected submitted their expenses on time. Nicol explained what would have happened if they hadn’t.
“If you’re a successful candidate and you fail to file your expenses, you’re subject to disqualification and then a further barring from running for office for a set period of time.”
For the 10 unsuccessful candidates who didn’t meet the 90-day deadline, Nicol said they lose a $100 deposit. As well, he said they are guilty of an offence which is subject to a potential conviction in court.
“You can be fined up to $10,000,” he said.
To Nicol’s knowledge, the city has never pursued a conviction in the past, with questions arising about whether it is truly in the public’s interest and would the cost be worth it to go after offending individuals. However, he said one councillor has expressed interest in pursuing offenders and Nicol will discuss the possibility with the city’s legal counsel.
Nicol said he was under the understanding Saskatoon City Council has a standing directive to pursue prosecutions in instances where individuals don’t file the proper paperwork.
Those candidates who raised money during the election and did not spend it all are also required by legislation, according to Nicol, to either donate the remaining balance to a registered charity or to hold it in a trust in case a candidate chooses to run in a future election.
Here’s the full list of what the current council spent on their respective campaigns during October’s election:
- Ward 1 – Barbara Young: $6,718.62
- Ward 2 – Bob Hawkins: $9,793.08
- Ward 3 – Andrew Stevens: $8,039
- Ward 4 – Lori Bresciani: $5,959.85
- Ward 5 – John Findura: $2,990.88
- Ward 6 – Joel Murray: $3,383.03
- Ward 7 – Sharron Bryce: 4,706.62
- Ward 8 – Mike O’Donnell: $1,988.89
- Ward 9 – Jason Mancinelli: $4,534.49
- Ward 10 – Jerry Flegel: $7,497.65
- Mayor Michael Fougere: $38,899