Skip to main content

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (right) stands next to his brother Councillor Doug Ford as they attend the last council meeting of this term at City Hall on Monday August 25, 2014.

Chris Young/The Globe and Mail

Rob and Doug Ford may have swapped places in this fall's tumultuous election campaign, but the money the mayor has raised to date for his re-election bid can't follow him in his attempt to win back his old council seat, nor can he transfer it to Doug's nascent mayoralty run, says an election finance expert.

"Doug has to start from scratch," said lawyer Jack Siegel, who regularly acts for municipal politicians on election expense matters. "He has to open up his own bank account and keep his own set of books and cannot have access to funds in the Rob Ford for Mayor campaign account or resources purchased with those accounts."

Under section 68 of the province's Municipal Elections Act, every campaign for office is considered to be separate for accounting purposes, and the funds can't be shifted easily.

Story continues below advertisement

Mr. Siegel says that if there are surpluses in Rob Ford's mayoral campaign account that didn't come from his own personal donations, they will be frozen and revert to the City of Toronto.

The same principle applies to campaign materials, said Mr. Siegel. If the Ford campaign purchased items such as signs, brochures or fridge magnets, Doug's campaign must purchase them outright from his brother's campaign fund.

Michael Ford faces a similar dynamic in his new campaign to become a school trustee for Ward 1. Any funds he raised during his low-profile race to succeed his uncle in Ward 2 are frozen and he has to start from zero.

Rob Ford can go back to contributors and ask for new donations, but individuals can give no more than $750 to a council campaign, whereas the ceiling for mayoralty runs is $2,500.

The laws do allow mayoral candidates to withdraw their own personal contributions from campaign accounts, if all the bills have been paid, and then transfer those sums to a council race. But it's a potentially risky exercise. In 2010, when Giorgio Mammolitti halted his bid to run for mayor and registered to run as a ward councillor, he transferred funds, but was subsequently caught out by a compliance audit.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

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 feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter