Ontario Proud wasn’t the first group to do it. The right-wing, self-proclaimed “grassroots organization” was actually a response to similar groups on the left. But the extent to which the organization was able to attract high-dollar donors and build an online audience dedicated to wiping out Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne should serve as a wakeup call to anyone who thought that the influence of cash into third-party advertising was only a problem in the United States.
Ontario Proud is now dedicated to bringing down Justin Trudeau. It's the most successful example, but it's far from alone. And what they do is not illegal—it’s just the inevitable result of campaign finance laws that haven’t adapted to a new reality, and that allow groups on both sides of the spectrum to hover up money and spread messages that are very close to those espoused by their party of choice, as long as they follow the rules. Here’s how that works.