The Ontario Court of Appeal today issued a judgement that Jim Karygiannis is subject to the penalties imposed by the Municipal Elections Act, which include the forfeiture of his seat as City Councillor for Ward 22. The forfeiture is effective today, June 24.
Mr. Karygiannis improperly filed financial statements for the 2018 election – statements that are required by all candidates for the 2018 election under the Act. The Act allows candidates to spend a maximum amount of money in an election. For Ward 22, in 2018, that total was $61,207.95, with a maximum of 10% – or $6,120.80 – to be spent for “parties and other expressions of appreciation” after voting day. Mr. Karygiannis filed expenses under “parties and other expressions of appreciation” that shows he spent $32,083.50, which, on its face, exceeds the expense limit by $25,962.70.
Candidates are responsible for ensuring their financial filings are accurate and compliant with the Act. Candidate financial statements for 2018 can be found here http://app.toronto.ca/EFD/jsf/candidate2018/view_financial_statements.xhtml?campaign=15.
Last November, Mr. Karygiannis forfeited his seat under s.88.23(2) of the Act, as his financial statement showed expenses for “parties and other expressions of appreciation” after voting day exceeded the amount permitted. Mr. Karygiannis applied to the Superior Court of Justice to seek relief from the penalties imposed by the Act, including the automatic forfeiture of his seat. The Judge who heard Mr. Karygiannis’s application granted him this relief and he was reinstated as a City Councillor. That decision, however, was appealed by a Toronto resident. Today’s Ontario Court of Appeal decision has set aside the decision of the applications judge and results, once again, in the automatic forfeiture of his seat.
The City Clerk will report to Toronto City Council at its next meeting on June 29 describing the steps Council must take to fill the vacancy in accordance with the City of Toronto Act and the Municipal Elections Act. In the interim, staff in the Ward 22 office will continue to support residents in the ward and will report to the City Clerk until the office is filled by appointment or by-election.
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