Did campaign contributions have any impact on the ward 4 election? Data tells the story.

background 100By Pepper Parr

August 13th, 2019



The Gazette will be doing a series of articles on the amount of money that was raised and spent during the October municipal election.

We are going to do this on a ward by ward basis and at the same time provide some demographic data on the makeup of the ward.

It will give readers a drilled down look at the community they live in and how their member of Council got elected and who paid for that election.

We start with ward 4 where the political upset was stunning to many – particularly the incumbent who was not ready for the loss.

Each candidate was given an amount they could spend.

In the data set out below the TCI is the total dollar amount brought in by each campaign. The TAE is the TCI minus  any applicable expenses. It is the total applicable expenditures or the total expenditures that apply to the Total Spending Limit and must be less that the Total Spending Limit. We then took the TAE and calculated it as a % of the TSL (also called “The General Spending Limit). So if someone had a TAE of $7 and the TSL/GSL was $10, then they spent 70% of the allowable campaign limit.

Total expenditure headings

ward 4 spends

Shawna listening to Dennison

Shawna Stolte had no political experience other than an immediately evident sense of decency.

Dennison announcing

Jack Dennison on the day he announced the sale of his sports operation. It was the beginning of the end of his role as a public personality. The election followed 31 months later.

In the list of donours to each campaign funds that came from known developers are show in yellow.

The Stolte spending came from:

Column head

Stolte source

The Dennison contributions came from:

Column headDennison source

Ward 4 profile png

The ward 4 seat was taken by a newcomer because she was the only candidate running against a well entrenched incumbent.
Money does matter in elections – but it isn’t THE winning tool. The quality of the candidate comes first.

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4 comments to Did campaign contributions have any impact on the ward 4 election? Data tells the story.

  • Bonnie

    In my opinion to date Councillor Stolte has stood firm on her election platform. The private tree bylaw, climate change and safe walkable streets, were all brought forward in her campaign messages. I have not seen anything to suggest a hidden agenda but rather a council member who is acting on her campaign promises.

    Editor’s observation: Mom! – you’re embarrassing your daughter

  • david barker

    Well articulated, Elan. Yep, Philip is definitely not a fan of the proposed tree bylaw, which Stolte firmly supports. Stolte mirrors the integrity, accessibility, openness and transparency of Mead Ward, Kerns, and Nisan

  • Phillip Wooster

    Pepper, an interesting article but I believe your last line should read, “The perceived quality of the candidate comes first”. As you are aware, I was no fan of Dennison. I perceived Stolte to be a significant change and improvement over him. But here we are, 10 months later and my perceptions have changed dramatically–Stolte has her own agendas and I’m not sure the opinions of the residents of Ward 4 really matter.

    • Elan

      Phillip. I assume you have your own ‘agendas’ on decisions this new Council has taken. But given Stolte’s openness to face and accept resident feedback, both at her published weekly coffee chat at Denningers, and, from what I gather are, a myriad of resident round tables on various resident issues around Ward 4, which I understand she actually attends, unlike our previous Councillor who spent 4 months in Florida during the term year, I think it unfair to say this Councillor is deaf to Ward 4 concerns. You may not like her position on certain specific issues, but I observe from Council meetings and the Mayor’s comments, she seems to be trying to listen. Gee…and no Developer donations…what the heck could be her ‘Agenda’?