Climate Justice Durham


Technically Accurate, But Misleading

John Henry’s Quote Regarding Campaign Donations from Developers

By Alyssa Scanga

In an October 6th article on developer campaign donations, Regional Chair incumbent John Henry is quoted saying he “does not accept developer campaign donations.”


This is technically true, as corporate donations are not allowed. However, individuals with a close connection to corporate interests are allowed to donate. It appears they did so in droves for John Henry’s campaign in 2018. 

Campaign donations are a matter of public record. An analysis was done of the financial statements submitted by each candidate from the 2018 municipal election. This analysis reveals some indirect connections to the development industry.  Regional Chair John Henry may have received nearly $75,000 from individuals potentially linked to developers and their affiliates - the highest number of donations, by candidate, in Durham Region.

Looking at the list of donors who contributed to Henry’s campaign, it’s worth noting that the Baruch family owns Paradise Developments, that Anthony Biglieri is the principal of the Biglieri Group, and that the Apostopoulos family owns the Triple Group of Companies. The Triple Group recently came under fire for its push to develop a provincially significant wetland in Pickering into an Amazon warehouse. It’s also worth noting that when donations came from many people with the same last name, more often than not none of them lived in Durham Region. 

Not being aware of this would frankly be poor management on Henry’s part. Of course, it’s also possible that his technically accurate, but not completely true statements, are a deliberate attempt to preserve his image ahead of an election where sustainable development and the climate crisis have become ballot box issues.

Transparency and full disclosure are critical for voters who value preserving and protecting our precious environmental resources. Durham residents deserve no less. 


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