Ontario Independent

Saturday, December 9, 2023

After donating $100 to the Ottawa blockage, a Queen’s Park employee lost his job

After donating $100 to the Ottawa roadblock, a Queen's Park employee was laid off.

Key Takeaways:

  • The head of communications for the Ontario government in charge of enforcing the legislation was sacked after being tied to a $100 donation supporting the caravan blocking Ottawa highways.
  • The information also includes the identification of a federal correctional officer and another Ontario government employee.
  • Canadian contributors accounted for 47.5 percent of all donations, compared to 47 percent for Americans.

After being linked to a $100 gift supporting the convoy blocking Ottawa roadways, the head of communications for the Ontario government executing the legislation was fired.

Marion Isabeau-Ringuette is one of numerous government employees and acquaintances under investigation after their names or identifying information was discovered in a pair of breaches involving 100,000 donations to the GiveSendGo website in the United States.

“It’s troubling that the communications director is financially supporting an illegal, illegal occupation,” said NDP MPP Catherine Fife.

She asked, “Who was giving, why were they donating, and did this contribute to the non-action that occurred on the ground in Ottawa?”

Also read: Back-channel talks are being led by Doug Ford’s former chief of staff

Ivana Yelich, a spokesman for Ontario Premier Doug Ford, did not elaborate in a brief statement to reporters.

Ms. Isabeau-Ringuette is no longer employed by the Ontario government, according to Yelich. “We are not commenting more since this is a personnel issue.”

As recently as Sunday, Isabeau-Ringuette worked as a political staffer for Ontario’s Solicitor-General, a post that regulates police and other law enforcement in the province.

On GiveSendGo, the $100 gift was anonymous, but one line in a set of stolen records totaling over 100,000 donations reads “M.R.” with an email address that includes Isabeau-name. Ringuette’s

An employee of the federal correctional service and also the identity of another Ontario govt employee are also included in the data. When approached by CTV News Toronto over the phone, the latter just stated, “No comment.”

An NDP press release accused a pollster with links to the ruling Progressive Conservative party of giving, citing a line in the spreadsheet that includes his email and name. On the other hand, the pollster denied giving to CTV News Toronto.

Even modest donors to the blockade risk having their bank accounts seized as a result of the federal government’s use of the Emergencies Act, according to Toronto lawyer Nainesh Kotak.

“Under this legislation, I believe the govt could freeze bank accounts if it so desired,” he stated. “That’s alarming. The larger guys should be the objectives.”

After donating $100 to the Ottawa roadblock, a Queen's Park employee was laid off.
After donating $100 to the Ottawa roadblock, a Queen’s Park employee was laid off. Image from CTV News

Kotak feels the administration had the means to deal with the protest earlier but chose not to use them. Now, he says, revoked insurance or auto-related charges may put everyone who has used those trucks for a long time out of work.

He stated, “We’ve gone from zero enforcement to deploying a bazooka.” “These are remarkable steps.”

Right-wing politicians in the U.S. have been exploiting the caravan to galvanise their base and drum up support, according to Yunkang Yan, a postdoctoral scholar at George Washington University’s Institute for Data, Democracy, and Politics.

“For a long time, a lot of important right-wing media has been propagating myths about that.” They have a sizable viewership. He added that people from all hikes of life on the political right, including those on both sides of the border, maybe frequent viewers of their stuff.

“Perhaps that’s why they’re so engrossed in this.”

This time, a second GiveSendGo data leak focused only on the “Adopt-a-Trucker” website was made public, revealing 7,500 identities. With a total value of $7,865.19, the greatest gift in that batch came from an American.

The number of Canadian donors was somewhat greater than that of American donors, at 47.5 percent vs. 47%.

On the other hand, Canadians gave more money ($321,000) than Americans ($200,000).

Source: CTV News

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