Election audit committee rejects complaint

Media Release

July 24, 2019

Election complaints rejected by the audit committee

Powers submitted an application to the municipality alleging that then-candidate Canniff incurred an expense by registering a website before the beginning of the election period in contravention of the Municipal Elections Act.

Although Canniff conceded that the website was registered prior to the election period, he contended that there was no expense in relation to the website. Powers brought no evidence of any expense.

The applicant also alleged that media events held by local resident Ben Labadie constituted a contribution to Canniff’s campaign.

The committee found the events were not held for the benefit of anyone individual and see “no credible reason to invest taxpayer funds in an audit of these public events organized by Mr. Labadie.”

Powers had also alleged that Canniff’s involvement in positivity day resulted in preferential media treatment but presented no indication of knowledge of facts to support the contention.

The committee noted that the “possibility, belief or speculation on the part of the applicant is not sufficient for this committee to recommend an investigation.”

This is the 11th election compliance audit application received by the municipality from Powers relating to the 2018 election. All have been rejected.

The time period for audit applications has now expired.

The committee’s written decision is attached.

There is a 15-day window to appeal the decision to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.


For more information contact:

Judy Smith

Director, Municipal Governance

Municipality of Chatham-Kent


Media Contact:

Jim Blake

Communications Officer

Municipality of Chatham-Kent

519-360-1998 x 3624