Highlights from Ontario's election law reform bill

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TORONTO — Ontario's Progressive Conservative government introduced legislation Thursday that would reform the province's election laws. Here are some of the amendments included in the bill:

- Extend the $637,200 spending limit placed on third-party advertisers from six months before an election to a year.

- Double the amount individuals can donate to a party, candidate or constituency association from $1,650 to $3,300 a year.

- Extend the per-vote subsidy provided to each party (63 cents per vote) until Dec. 31, 2024.

- Extend the number of advance polling days from five to 10.

- Give Elections Ontario more enforcement powers and the ability to fine individuals or groups it deems to have violated election rules.

- Fines for election rules violations would range from $1,500 for individuals to $100,000 for third-party groups, including corporations or unions.

- Level the fundraising playing field for independent legislators, who would be allowed to raise money outside of election periods, keep surpluses and qualify for voter subsidies.

- Allow politicians to keep their individual social media accounts before, during and after an election, without having to create new accounts for a writ period.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 25, 2021.

The Canadian Press