PRESS RELEASE: Horizon Ottawa finds Sutcliffe accepted over $100,000 in development industry-connected contributions in new database


OTTAWA - Horizon Ottawa released its developer donations database today for the 2022 election, which compares the sums of development industry contributions to the total funds raised by that campaign to determine the percentage of development industry contributions.

Among many other findings, the research concluded that despite having committed to not accepting any donations connected to the development industry, Mayor Mark Sutcliffe accepted over $100,000 from the industry, making up almost 20% of his total donations.

Residents connected to corporations that do a lot of work with industry players feature prominently in Sutcliffe’s donor list including the Tomlinson Group and Central Precast who had and continues to have a major stake in large development projects like the East End Amazon facility and TD Place.

The organization defines a development industry-connected contribution as: 

A contribution determined very likely to be made by an individual who is or is the spouse/family member of an executive, owner, representative, manager, senior staff member, or other major stakeholder in the real estate development, property management, and infrastructure industries, and any contractors, consultants, legal or financial services related to commercial and residential construction.

“We would like to believe that our local elections are funded by small donations from our civically engaged neighbours. However, campaign financing is a lot more complicated than that.”said Sam Hersh, Board member of Horizon Ottawa.“It’s clear that just like in 2018 and elections before it, developer money still plays a large role in Ottawa municipal politics.”

According to the data, fifteen members of council still accepted at least one donation from the development industry including five councillors who took the vast majority of their donations from the industry.

This is the second time Horizon Ottawa has done a deep-dive on developer influence in Ottawa politics: the first time being in 2020 for the 2018 election. The group used that data to run a public pressure campaign against accepting developer contributions in the 2022 municipal election.

It was a strong success, and many candidates pledged to not take donations connected to the development industry – including our mayor, Mark Sutcliffe.

“Despite our mayor breaking his commitment, we saw an overall decline of 45% of donations connected to the development industry in 2022 versus 2018.” Said Hersh. “Still, $300,000 worth of these contributions is dangerous to a healthy democracy and we will continue to fight for real accountability, true campaign finance reform and a city council and mayor committed to the residents of this city rather than the interests of the wealthy and well-connected.”



  • Despite having promised not to accept any donations connected to the development industry, Mayor Mark Sutcliffe accepted over $100,000 making up almost 20% of his total donations.
  • 15 of 25 members of council took money from the development industry, 8 out of 12 members of the Planning and Housing Committee took money from the industry.
  • Five councillors still took the majority of their donations from the development industry: George Darouze, Allan Hubley, Matthew Luloff, Laura Dudas and Tim Tierney, down from eleven in 2018.
  • Two councillors, Matthew Luloff and Laura Dudas, took far more developer-connected donations than they took last time: In 2018, Luloff took 8%, this time he took 71%. For Dudas it jumped from 19% to 59%.
  • New councillor David Hill in Barrhaven West, also took a significant amount of money from those connected to the industry at 43% of his total donations. He was the only newly elected councillor to accept over 40% of his total donations from the industry.
  • The top developer donor was Richcraft Homes at $19,000.
  • The total amount of money from the industry that could be identified dropped significantly from over $500,000 in 2018 to close to $300,000 in 2022.


For Media Inquiries:

Sam Hersh
[email protected]

Latest posts

Share this page

Take action

Become a Member
Take Action