Statement from Deb Matthews Regarding the NDP's Relationship with Cornerstone

Friday, June 1, 2018

Deb Matthews, Ontario Liberal Campaign Co-Chair, released the following statement today:

"It has been over 48 hours since we asked the NDP to come clean about their relationship with Cornerstone—a for-profit business partnership with eight of Ontario’s largest and most powerful unions.

We know that Cornerstone was created to financially backstop the NDP’s election campaigns and operations. We also know that Cornerstone completely intertwines the NDP with many of the same unions that, if they were to form government, they would be obliged to negotiate with to strike new collective agreements.

Earlier this week we asked why the NDP would be so unwilling to ever use back-to-work legislation to break up strikes. Cornerstone just might be a good answer to that question.

This arrangement places the NDP in a situation where their private corporate interests would collide with their public obligations.

The only response we have received from the NDP over these 48 hours is a lawyer’s letter that doesn’t deny a relationship with Cornerstone nor does it ask us to correct any of the statements we made.

In fact, the letter from the NDP’s counsel doesn’t even mention Cornerstone, but it does copy Karla Webber-Gallagher, a Director of Cornerstone.

Notably, the letter also fails to repeat Andrea Horwath’s claim from Wednesday that the NDP has no financial relationship with Cornerstone—a claim similar to the one she made in 2011. On both occasions—in 2011 and 2018, that statement is demonstrably incorrect.  Cornerstone is a for-profit corporation. The NDP is a shareholder, as are eight unions. The NDP pays rent to Cornerstone each month—which is to say that it, in part, pays rent to itself and to these same eight unions. By definition, this is a financial relationship.

Without an explanation or a denial, the information we presented to media still suggests some rather troubling inferences about the relationship between the NDP and its union partners in Cornerstone.

We are still waiting for the following answers from the NDP:

  • Does the NDP still own Class A shares of Cornerstone?
  • Will you and Cornerstone release all Shareholder Agreements, showing there to be no current ties between Cornerstone and the NDP?   
  • Will you release all statements since 2011 showing transfers between Cornerstone, member organizations and the NDP?   
  • Have the five current NDP board members, including the NDP President, who were listed as such as recently as Friday May 25 yet resigned from their positions?

The public has heard from Horwath before that there is no relationship between Cornerstone and the NDP. Yet, at the same time that your party lists Cornerstone as the financial guarantor in your latest annual filing, the same filing lists Cornerstone as your landlord and the Toronto Star revealed in 2016 that you own shares in Cornerstone.

How can you stand by your statement that there is 'no financial relationship'?"


For more information: