This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
It has been revealed that the Ontario Provincial Police is currently examining complaints of a potential conflict of interest case against a suspect that had ties with town council in Collingwood, Ont., and associations with politicians, and used them as a lobbyist to usher a multi-million dollar sale of a local utility and a proposed new casino.
A former Liberal MP and now a lobbyist and president of Compenso Communications, Paul Bonwick, was recently hired last fall by a group of investors, including the owners of the Georgian Manor resort, who was interested in bringing the 300-slot machine facility to town. The complaint was filed by two citizens, informing police that they are afraid that several members of council are being inappropriately influenced by Bonwick, and hence they have failed to explain their close relationships with him, which has resulted in a huge lack of transparency and might also be a conflict of interest.
Bonwick was hired at his position in last October, as he accepted an offer paying $20,000 as an initial retainer with the prospect of receiving $480,000 over two years, in case the town agrees the casino project. Whereas, later Georgian Manor did win the slot contract from Ontario’s Lottery and Gaming Corporation. Bonwick admitted that he was indeed hired for strategic consultations, however Bonwick openly asserted that he will not lobby any elected officials but instead only gave the group advice on how specific council members might vote and might be swayed. Bonwick is the brother of Mayor Sandra Cooper.