such a draconian penalty as being stripped of office for so trivial
a breach. Henderson J. found that there was nothing in s. 98
of the CJA that prohibited its use in the case of forfeitures
decreed by statute. While noting the existence of some Court of
Appeal precedent suggesting that s. 98 of the CJA cannot be
used to relieve against statutory penalties (McBride v. Comfort
Living Housing Co-operative Inc. (1992), 7 O.R. (3d) 394, 
O.J. No. 260, 1992 CanLII 7474 (C.A.)), he preferred the reasoning of Gravely J. in Thomas v. Fort Erie (Town) (1995),
23 O.R. (3d) 152,  O.J. No. 1066, 1995 CanLII 7188 (Gen.
Div.)1 where unclaimed funds from a tax sale were ordered
returned to the owner instead of being forfeited to the municipality as prescribed by the Municipal Tax Sales Act, R.S.O.
1990, c. M.60.
 I have doubts that Thomas can be used as a basis to
extend the application of s. 98 of the CJA to statutory penalties
as suggested. In Thomas, Gravely J. applied the Fines and Forfeitures Act, R.S.O. 1990, c F.13 (“FFA”) to reverse the forfeiture,
not s. 98 of the CJA. The FFA specifically granted him jurisdiction to do so. Furthermore, Henderson J. in Diodati was also
able to interpret s. 92(6) of the MEA in a fashion to grant him
jurisdiction to provide relief as well. He did not need to rely on
s. 98 of the CJA to reach the conclusion that he reached.
 In the MEA, the legislature has enacted provisions enabling extensions of time to make the necessary filings to be
sought. The scheme of the MEA involves a complex balancing of
public interests — including making campaign finance transparent and open for public scrutiny, ensuring that surplus campaign contributions (for which public subsidies have been
provided) are accounted for and others. The fact that more than
100 candidates from the last election in Toronto alone are currently in default strongly suggests that great caution should be
exercised in considering disturbing the scheme of the legislation
 While I have doubts that the general provisions of the
CJA can be applied as suggested to supercede the specific
provisions of the MEA, it is not necessary for me to decide the
issue because I have determined that I would not in any event
exercise my discretion under s. 98 of the CJA on the facts of
1 The decision of Gravely J. was affirmed by the Divisional Court on other
grounds at (1996), 30 O.R. (3d) 134,  O.J. No. 2665, 1996 CanLII
11790 (Div. Ct.).