Doucet on Watson, will release his donor list Oct. 18

As far as Clive Doucet is concerned, Jim Watson’s integrity proposal doesn’t go far enough – and it doesn’t address serious questions about Watson’s ethics.

Doucet returned my phone call tonight and I had some questions about his views on Watson’s proposals. At a press conference earlier today, Watson proposed a ban of sole-sourced contracts, but would allow the Lansdowne Park redevelopment project to go ahead. Doucet, a vocal opponent of the Lansdowne Park project, said it should “absolutely be cancelled.” Also by phone, Larry O’Brien spokesman Mike Patton said sole-sourcing has benefits. Patton said it’s an efficient way to allocate contracts and, in the case of Lansdowne Park, “nobody else seemed able or interested.” Doucet maintained that sole-sourced contracts are illegal at the provincial and federal level. As far as he is concerned, the Lansdowne Park project is “a bad news story for the city.”

On the issue of integrity, he said it was “very strange” for Watson to be taking a hard position given his track record on developer donations. During Watson’s tenure as Minister of Municipal Affairs in Dalton McGuinty’s cabinet, he did support regulation and limitations on corporate donations – as pointed out in this story at the Toronto Star. However, Doucet claimed Watson “stonewalled” a ban on developer donations in Ottawa, while it went ahead in Toronto.

Doucet believes developer donations should be banned entirely. The O’Brien campaign has proposed its version of campaign finance reform, creating guidelines for corporations and unions outside of Ottawa to contribute to campaigns. O’Brien’s plan would not ban donations.

Not one to shy away from a testy implication, Doucet believes the public has the right to know who’s been funding Watson’s 10-month campaign.

When asked if he would share his own list of donors, proactively, before voter’s cast their ballot – and before the time required by law – Doucet said he would make his donor list available “a week prior to the election.”

On October 18, Doucet will have the opportunity to put his money where his mouth is.

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