Big Money in Local Elections - Ward Ipiihkoohkanipiaohtsi

"Who is funding and backing your campaign?"

What should be a simple answer from municipal candidates has now become something more concerning and convoluted than ever before, and that's because there is more big money surrounding candidates and dictating their platforms than ever before.

With the rise in Political Action Committees (PACs) and Third Party Advertisers (TPAs) backing candidates, our local elections have become less transparent and less fair, which is a huge blow to local democracy and the integrity of our city.

What are PACs/TPAs? These are groups of individuals, corporations, trade unions, and employee organizations that can promote or oppose a candidate through advertising with huge sums of money. This means that their dark money can "buy" a candidate into serving their special interests and needs, instead of what matters most to you and your entire community.

Did you know that each member of a PAC, whether that be a union or a corporation, can donate up to $30,000 to support or defame a local candidate? And to make matters worse, there is no limit on how much money a single PAC can spend, which is disturbing. Like I said earlier, this means that the local issues that matter the most to you are less likely to be addressed and advocated for in the shadow of these special interest groups.

In this video, I break down what a PAC is, why it's problematic, and what you can ask candidates who come to your door. I also discuss who is really funding my campaign and how you can help.

For more information on PACs/TPAs, visit Edmonton Elections.