Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Cancel Anytime
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](,dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

London Mayor Joe Fontana in his office at City Hall in London on Feb. 9, 2012.

Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail

Joseph Fontana, the mayor of London, Ont., is facing criminal charges over allegations he used federal funds to help pay for his son's wedding reception.

The RCMP announced on Wednesday that Mr. Fontana has been charged with fraud, breach of trust and uttering a forged document. The charges date back to 2005, when Mr. Fontana was a Member of Parliament.

Mr. Fontana, who is under pressure from some London city councillors to step aside pending the outcome of the charges, plans to hold a news conference on Thursday afternoon at his lawyer's office.

Story continues below advertisement

Neither he nor his lawyer responded to telephone messages or e-mails from The Globe and Mail on Wednesday. In a letter posted on his website on Monday, Mr. Fontana said he has no plans to step down.

"Make no mistake, I treat the allegations that have been levied as serious, but I have not and will not allow them to be a distraction from my duties and obligations of my office," he wrote. "I will not stand aside or leave my responsibilities as Mayor."

Mr. Fontana has rebuffed earlier efforts by some councillors to get him to relinquish his duties as mayor. Councillor Nancy Branscombe told The Globe the investigation has been "quite a big distraction" but she said there was not enough support to even get a motion calling for Mr. Fontana to temporarily resign on the floor for debate.

Councillor Joni Baechler plans to table a motion at the finance and administrative services committee on Monday, asking him to step aside. The motion is expected to pass. But under the provincial Municipal Act, council members cannot be forced out of office unless they are convicted of a criminal offence.

RCMP Sergeant Richard Rollings would not comment on the nature of the charges, beyond saying they involve the alleged inappropriate use of $1,700 in government funds in 2005. Mr. Fontana is accused of using the money to pay a deposit to the Marconi Club for the wedding reception of his son, Michael. The RCMP opened its investigation just over a month ago, after it was contacted by the House of Commons.

"The matter was brought to our attention and the House exercised due diligence and referred the matter the proper authorities, which are the RCMP," said spokeswoman Heather Bradley.

The House of Commons contacted the RCMP following a story in The London Free Press, which published a copy of the stub from the cheque, dated April 6, 2005. Mr. Fontana acknowledged in a statement on his website dated Oct. 21 that a review of his financial records "clearly indicates a personal payment made to the Marconi Club during the time frame in question."

Story continues below advertisement

The general manager of the social club declined to comment when contacted by The Globe.

Mr. Fontana was the Liberal MP for London North Centre when the cheque was written. He was a fixture on Parliament Hill from 1988 until 2006 on Parliament Hill as an MP and a member of the "True Grit" rock band. He was the chairman of the Liberal caucus and of various parliamentary committees during the tenure of Jean Chrétien in the 1990s and early 2000s, and received a promotion to minister of labour after Paul Martin became Liberal leader and prime minister in 2003. Mr. Fontana quit his seat after the Liberals lost power in 2006 to make a run for the London mayoralty. He lost on his first attempt, but won in 2010.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the authors of this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons or for abuse. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies