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City of Charlottetown releases money spent by candidates in recent election campaign

Philip Brown will be officially sworn in as mayor of Charlottetown on Thursday, Dec. 6.
Charlottetown Mayor Philip Brown - File

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Philip Brown was the big spender in the recent municipal election to become Charlottetown’s next mayor.

The City of Charlottetown has posted election spending information on its website for the first time, fulfilling a new requirement under the Municipal Government Act (MGA).

Under the legislation, candidates are required to list the names and addresses of donors who gave more than $250 to their campaigns.

Brown, who won the race, spent almost twice as much as the next highest candidate, spending $44,027 on his campaign. He was followed by Kim Devine at $23,247; Cecil Villard at $19,413; and Jamie Larkin at $6,250.

William McFadden, who entered the mayor’s race on the final day for nominations, didn’t spend a dime on his campaign.

As of Monday, Larkin’s election spending wasn’t indicated on the city’s website. A city spokeswoman said that’s because Larkin hadn’t provided the information, a contravention of the MGA.

Larkin disclosed his campaign spending to The Guardian.

“I had all this stuff down on my computer and my computer crashed over the holidays and I just didn’t get back to it, to be honest,’’ Larkin said, adding he was working on getting the information in.

As for the candidates running for council, spending the dough doesn’t necessarily translate into victory.

Valentine Gomez, who decided to advertise his candidacy by using pumpkins instead of election signage, led all challengers by spending $5,652 to try to unseat longtime Coun. Mitchell Tweel in Ward 4.

Gomez purchased $2,470 worth of pumpkins from Meadowbank Farms in Charlottetown but ultimately was unsuccessful in his election bid.

Laurent Beaulieu was another big spender. He was one of five candidates vying for the vacant Ward 1 seat. Beaulieu rang up a bill of $4,217.

Paul Haddad, who was also vying for the Ward 1 seat, was just behind Beaulieu at $4,083. However, according to the information Haddad submitted, there were no contributors to his campaign.

And, it even costs money to run an election campaign when there’s no opposition.

Coun. Greg Rivard, who was acclaimed in Ward 7, spent $1,969. Rivard said the money was spent/raised by the time he was acclaimed.

After the 2018 municipal election, candidates for mayor in P.E.I. municipalities will be limited to $50,000 in campaign expenses while candidates for council will be limited to $10,000. Donations will be limited to contributions of $1,575 per mayor and the same amount per councillor. The regulations exempted candidates in the fall’s elections from these spending limits.

Need to know

The detailed lists of financial contributions for each Charlottetown candidate in the recent municipal election is available on the city’s website at Click on the mayor and council button and, on the left side of the page under the city council button, click on election contribution statements (2018).

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