PCs actively solicit illegal donations at Premier's dinners

EDMONTON, AB (January 19, 2012): Since 2007, the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta has sent at least 16 explicit invites to their Premier’s Dinner fundraisers to groups prohibited by law from attending, the Wildrose Caucus revealed today. 

“Please join us in our evening of appreciation knowing that your support and the support of others will contribute to a strong provincial PC party,” reads a letter sent from PC Alberta to Thorhild County, inviting them to attend the Premier’s Dinner held on Aug. 24, 2011. 

According to Section 34(1)(2) of the Election Finances and Contributions Distribution Act, it is illegal for political parties to solicit money from groups such as municipalities, school districts and post-secondary schools. 

However, the examples uncovered today by the Wildrose Caucus (see backgrounder below), prove the PC party has been doing exactly that for years – including into Premier Alison Redford’s term (emphasis added): 

• “Moved that Council acknowledge receipt of the invitation to the Calgary Premier’s Dinner on April 14th, 2011,” reads the council minutes dated Jan. 6, 2011 for the Municipal District of Foothills.  

• “Councillor Steinke moved that the invitation from PC Alberta received on October 11, 2011 to attend the Southern Alberta Leader’s Dinner on Thursday, October 20, 2011 be received for information – Carried,” reads the minutes from the Town of Redcliff council meeting on Oct. 11. 

In other examples, the Aspen View Regional Division posted the invitation received from the Athabasca-Redwater PC Association to the March 4, 2011 Premier’s dinner. 

The Lethbridge School District No. 51 also attached to their Sept. 28, 2010 board of trustees agenda an invitation to attend the “Synergy of the South” Premier’s Dinner as well as the ticket order form. 

The response from the Redford government and the PCs has been to blame the municipalities or other public institutions that rely on provincial funding for not knowing the law. 

“These examples very clearly show it’s the PC party that either doesn’t know its own law or, more likely, thinks they are above the law,” Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith said. “The law is very clear. Political parties can’t ask for money from municipalities, yet that’s exactly what these PCs have done for years and continue to do under Ms. Redford.” 

The PCs are already under investigation for soliciting and accepting illegal donations, and over the past week the Wildrose revealed documents showing the PC party accepting donations in the thousands of dollars from post-secondary institutions and local school boards, most recently at Premier Redford’s Leader’s dinner this past October. 

“By inviting municipalities and school boards to partisan fundraisers, the PCs are essentially saying ‘Give us money or you won’t get your road built or your classroom improvements,’” Smith said. “By refusing to be accountable for their own illegal activities, Ms. Redford and her PC government continue to show they are not interested in doing what is right and are only in it for themselves.”  

The Wildrose Caucus stands for free enterprise, less government, increased personal freedom and democracy.

BACKGROUNDER: 

1. http://www.chinooksedge.ab.ca/docs/library/10%2009%2008.pdf 

CORRESPONDENCE Superintendent K. Sacher reviewed the following correspondence items:…A copy of a letter regarding the Central Premier’s Dinner scheduled for October 14, 2010 at the Capri Centre in Red Deer was read; 

2. http://www.mdfoothills.com/media/files/upload/JAN06_2011_z2d.pdf  

CALGARY PREMIER’S DINNER Moved that Council acknowledge receipt of the invitation to the Calgary Premier’s Dinner on April 14th, 2011.   

3. http://www.mdfoothills.com/media/files/upload/JUNE15_2011_wtp.pdf  

PC ALBERTA EVENING OF CELEBRATION Moved that Council acknowledge receipt of the invitation for the PC Alberta Evening of Celebration to be held for Premier and Marie Stelmach, scheduled on August 24, 2011. CARRIED 

4. http://www.thorhildcounty.com/Text/2011%20July%2026%20Council%20Agenda.pdf  

Dear PC Supporter Invite to Ed Stelmach PC event Page 106 

5. http://mdnorth22.ab.ca/forms/November%2009,%202010%20minutes.pdf  

B. Premier’s Dinner601/09/11/10     MOVED BY Councillor Foster to accept the invitation to the Premier’s dinner as information. CARRIED   

6. http://www.mdfoothills.com/media/files/upload/JAN06_2011_z2d.pdf  

CALGARY PREMIER’S DINNER Moved that Council acknowledge receipt of the invitation to the Calgary Premier’s Dinner on April 14th, 2011 

7. http://www.mdfoothills.com/media/files/upload/JUNE15_2011_wtp.pdf  

PC ALBERTA EVENING OF CELEBRATION Moved that Council acknowledge receipt of the invitation for the PC Alberta Evening of Celebration to be held for Premier and Marie Stelmach, scheduled on August 24, 2011. CARRIED  

8. http://www.lethcounty.ca/municipal/lethbridge/lethbridge-website.nsf/AllDoc/0D961B2B73945B918725736100744055/$File/ccm2007-09-06.pdf  

H4. 2007 Southern Alberta Premier’s Dinner – October 25, 2007 – Lethbridge Lodge Robyn Singleton, County Manager reported that an invitation was received from PC Alberta regarding the 2007 Southern Alberta Premier’s Dinner scheduled for October 25, 2007 at the Lethbridge Lodge.  Ticket cost: $250.00 each or a table of 8 for $2,000.00. If County Council authorizes Council members to attend, Council members will be responsible for payment of their own ticket to attend the function as official tax receipts will be issued.  494/07 E. WAUTERS MOVED that any member of Council wishing to attend the 2007 Southern Alberta Premier’s Dinner scheduled for October 25, 2007 be authorized to do so and further that the regular policy regarding meetings apply. CARRIED

 9. http://rycroft.ca/council/documents/November92010_000.pdf  

Correspondence for information: 2010-11-34 MOVED by Councillor Carol Gano that the following correspondence be received for information :a) PREDA and Mackenzie Municipal Services Agency invitation – elected …f) Invitation to Premier’s Dinner…Carried 

10. http://www.mdnorth22.ab.ca/forms/november%2009,%202010%20highlights.pdf  

Council received the following event details and invitations as information: • Premier’s Dinner  

11. http://www.mdfoothills.com/media/files/upload/JAN06_2011_z2d.pdf  

CALGARY PREMIER’S DINNER Moved that Council acknowledge receipt of the invitation to the Calgary Premier’s Dinner on April 14th, 2011.  CARRIED 

12. https://docushare.aspenview.org/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-74311/2011%2001%2020%20Agenda.PDF  

13. http://www.lethcounty.ca/municipal/lethbridge/lethbridge-website.nsf/AllDoc/FB792B7AF2D53984872577B5007C2CC2/$File/ccm2010-09-16.pdf

 14. http://www.didsbury.ca/municipal/didsbury/webcms.nsf/AllDoc/F8AB5C5E228D516587257798006AAFA0/$File/Council%20Minutes%20July%2020,%202010.pdf  

15. http://www.town.redcliff.ab.ca/2011_October%2011%20Council%20Minutes.pdf  

16. http://lethsdweb.lethsd.ab.ca/OurSchools/Documents/BM%20-%20Agenda%20September%2028,%202010.pdf