Was Di Ianni's win legal? Documents raise questions on election finances

By John Milton
Published July 27, 2006

Editor's Note: This article was written by John Milton and was first published in 2004 on the Hamilton Indymedia website, but is no longer available there.

As far as I can tell, that was the first place Mayor Larry Di Ianni's alleged municipal election law violations were ever reported. Raise the Hammer is republishing this article with the author's permission to preserve an important historical news document.

* * *

Many who follow municipal politics in this city have been speculating since last November about the financial details of Hamilton's most recent election. The smoke began to clear this week as candidates filed the financial disclosure documents required by the Municipal Elections Act (MEA).

Preliminary examinations of the documents filed by now Mayor Larry Di Ianni raise serious questions as to whether or not his contributions meet the requirements of the act.

It must be said that the documents which have been filed are not, in and of themselves, proof that the MEA has been violated. I do not mean to suggest by this article that Di Ianni, or anyone else, has violated the MEA, knowingly or otherwise. I do however feel that, as official public documents, the questions raised require further investigation as provided for in the legislation.

The MEA specifies a strict limit of $750 as the total amount that an individual or corporation may contribute to any one candidate's campaign. It also specifies that in situations where two or more companies donate they shall be viewed as a single contributor if they are "associated" as defined in the Income Tax Act.

The Income Tax Act in turn says that companies are "associated" if they are "controlled, directly or indirectly, in any manner whatever, by the same person or group of persons."

Effort Trust

Di Ianni's documents list two donations by "The Effort Trust Company," of 240 Main St. E. in Hamilton, one for $400 on June 25th and another for $500 on October 7th for a total of $900.If these two donations are from the same company they would exceed the donation limit by $150.

LIUNA (Labourers International Union of North America), etc:

Di Ianni's documents list 2 donations by "Laborers International Union of North America," of 44 Hughson Street South, for $250 and $500 on October 30, from LIUNA Gardens Ltd for $250, and from LIUNA Station for $250, both of 526 Winona Road in Stoney Creek, also on October 30th, for a total of $1250.

At the time, I believe Joe Mancielli was the President of local 837 of LIUNA and also president of LIUNA Station and LIUNA Gardens. Should all these donations be deemed to come from associated entities they would exceed the donation limit by $500.

A. DeSantis, etc.:

Total donations from this group are $1700.

Losani Homes, etc:

There are a number of donating companies and individuals I feel the documents indicate may be "associated" based on similar names and/or addresses:

The Losani Homes website lists a Fred Losani as one of the 3 founders of the company, and 237 Barton St. as the company address. Report 03-034 of the City's Hearings Sub-Committee (p22), lists "Losani Homes" as owner of 1277289 Ltd. The Oct. 30, 2003 report of the Planning and Development Council for the town of Oakville (p1) lists "Losani Homes" as the owner of 1541079 Ontario Ltd.

The total donations from this group are $4250. If they were all "associated" they would exceed the donation limit by $3500.

CDN Construction, etc:

Again, a number of donating companies I feel the documents indicate may be "associated" based on similar names and mailing addresses:

The total donations from this group are $2250. If they were all "associated" they would exceed the donation limit by $1500.

Fifty Road Joint Venture Inc:

DiIanni's documents list 2 donations by "Fifty Road Joint Venture Inc," of 136 Allen Street in Hamilton, one for $750 on October 7 and another for $400 on September 30. If these two donations are from the same company they would exceed the donation limit by $400.

This item is unclear because there is an entry for $400 being paid to the City Clerk as an "over donation" from Fifty Road Joint ventures on September 30. It is not clear from the documents if this is the same donation or a third one.

John / Ellie Vortman:

The documents list 2 donations by John / Ellie Vortman of 58 Carluke Road in Ancaster, each for $750 on June 25. While the name might suggest donations from 2 separate people this is not clear in the documents. If both donations were from one person this would exceed the limit by $750.

The act states that "an elector who is entitled to vote in an election and believes on reasonable grounds that a candidate has contravened a provision of this Act relating to election campaign finances may apply for a compliance audit of the candidate's election campaign finances."

Such an audit is the method by which a legal determination would be made regarding the sorts of issues we have outlined above.

IMC Hamilton has learned that at this time several local individuals and groups are considering this option in detail. I feel the documents may contain more newsworthy information and will continue to investigate.

John Milton a local writer and activist. He is the administrator of Hamilton Indymedia.


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By jason (registered) | Posted July 27, 2006 at 15:38:51

unfortunately, Ms Chapman has incurred costs of $30,000 fighting this illegal campaign. Our entire system is set up to help politicians cheat and to help corporations wield the real power from behind the checkbook. Every candidate should be audited, with no individual citizen having to go way in debt to bring about fairness. Unfortunately, it's an uphill battle convincing politicians to change the system making this mandatory practice. If they did, most realize they'd be out of a job once elections were based on vision and leadership, not rich friends.

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By scriptorium (anonymous) | Posted September 04, 2006 at 19:33:04

I'd like to comment on what other clauses in other legislation is left out - such as the Municipal Act - elected official has to comply with provincial legislation (the Muncipal Elections Act)

Then there is the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act - http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/DBLaws/Statutes/English/90m50_e.htm
Check for direct or indirect pecuniary interest
How did DiIanni vote say for interests that affected LIUNUA's interests? Apply to other donors such a Chair of Future Fund to DiIannis' campaign

Then there is the section of the Criminal Code that is ignored by police forces and the Crown's office - Part IV - called the Administration of Law and Justice. Check out the book on it - called Martin's Criminal Code at the Library - although they don't have the latest edition there. Read the definitions at the beginning of this part and then read Sections 122 and 123 - mostly the explanations in the cross references and annonations. You won't get an understanding if the legislation is perused on-line because it doesn't clarify previous cases.

What is very very odd to me is that the Ontario Government would write into its' legislation putting undue burdon on an elector to take carraige of municipal corruption cases - giving the opposition/defendant's legal council the opportunity to turn it into a political circus rather than a tool to administer justice and good government.

The Municial Conflict of Interest Act put onus on the elector to bring forward charges as I suspect the Municipal Elections Act does.

This doesn't make sense for the Ontario government to pass off its administration of justice duties onto an elector. The Province of Ontario has the Exclusive subject of Provincial Legislation as noted in the Constitution Act of 1867 (Canada's supreme law)
Item 15 of Part VI says this:

The Imposition of Punishment by Fine, Penalty, or Imprisonment for enforcing any Law of the Province made in relation to any Matter coming within any of the Classes of Subjects enumerated in this Section.


Where does it say in this section that it's the electors responsibility to enforce the Law of the Province?

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