Far-right Toronto mayoral candidate Faith Goldy breached election finance laws, auditor finds

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Faith Goldy, a far-right commentator who has promoted white-supremacist views, contravened election spending laws during her unsuccessful 2018 run for mayor of Toronto, an auditor has found.

Chartered accountant William Molson, tasked by a city committee with auditing Goldy’s election expenses after a citizen complaint triggered a 2019 hearing, made the findings in a report to the committee made public Friday.

Compliance audit committee members will review the findings at a Feb. 8 hearing and could refer them to a provincial prosecutor for possible legal action against Goldy.

Molson found that Goldy broke the Municipal Elections Act in multiple ways.

They include:

  • Failing to report $86,398.49 in campaign-period expenses.
  • Failing to report $56,117.95 in contributions by non-Ontario residents, who could not legally donate to her mayoral campaign, before the end of 2018.
  • Accepting and failing to report $12,365.99 after Dec. 31, 2018, without requesting an extension of the legal campaign period.

  • Accepting a total of $101,118 from ineligible donors outside Ontario.
  • Exceeding the legal $25,000 limit for donating to one’s own campaign by $56,388.63.

The audit was triggered by a complaint from Evan Balgord, executive director of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network and a former staffer of Toronto Mayor John Tory who won re-election in 2018. Goldy finished a distant third.

At an April 2019 hearing at city hall, Goldy told the compliance audit committee that there was no wrongdoing and that her campaign finances had been reviewed by an independent auditor.

Accompanied by a crowd of cheering supporters, she suggested that the request for a compliance audit was motivated by “politics and money.”

She said that her own campaign audit indicated no “cross-pollination” between her personal bank account and the campaign.

At the hearing lawyer Jack Siegel, acting for Balgord, referred to a video in Goldy allegedly solicited donations “from defenders of democracy worldwide. The money is going to my account, not my campaign’s, so it’s a wide-open field.”

She was soliciting funds for an unsuccessful legal challenge to try to force Bell Media to air her mayoral campaign advertisements on a local television station.

“She solicited money so she could air rejected campaign advertising,” Siegel told the committee. “She’d determined that she needed a lawsuit to do so. That is money for her campaign,” and should have been tallied as a campaign expense.

Goldy, Molson wrote in his report, “was generally not co-operative in responding to requests for information,” he needed to do the audit.

That delayed his reporting back to the committee and, in some instances, “it was necessary to rely on the best available information when applying a ‘balance of probabilities’ standard in order to arrive at a reasonable conclusion.

With files from David Nickle, Toronto.com

David Rider is the Star’s City Hall bureau chief and a reporter covering city hall and municipal politics. Follow him on Twitter: @dmrider