Danielle In QP, November 1: Chief Electoral Officer Investigations

Ms Smith: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Chief Electoral Officer believes he is barred from releasing the results of any investigations, and the government seems to go along with that, or at least they did up until yesterday. Originally we understood the Deputy Premier said no to releasing anything about the Katz affair, but later the Premier, under heavy pressure, gave an answer that could be interpreted to indicate a willingness to release the investigation results, or perhaps not. Let’s give the Premier the opportunity today to be transparent and accountable. What exactly will she release?

The Speaker: The hon. Deputy Premier. [some applause]

Mr. Lukaszuk: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It’s always good to be back in the House, and I’m glad that the opposition is so enthusiastic, but one thing I didn’t miss is the fact that our Premier was very clear yesterday. She said yes, absolutely, and for sure. I don’t know how many other terms she could have used to convince the Leader of the Official Opposition or at least have her understand that this government will be transparent. When we receive the findings in the form of a letter from the Chief Electoral Officer, we’ll not only share it with this Chamber but with all Albertans.

Ms Smith: That’s very encouraging, Mr. Speaker. Will the Premier now commit to applying the same openness and transparency to releasing the results of the investigations that exposed 45 cases of illegal donations to a political party?

Mr. Lukaszuk: Mr. Speaker, we already did better than that because if that member actually cared to do a little bit of research, she would find that the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta had already released on its website in May of 2012 a list of all donations that had been found to be inaccurate and returned.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I’m asking: when will they publish the list of donations that they haven’t returned?  I will be tabling that soon.

The Speaker: I can see where this is going, hon. leader.

Ms Smith: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. We don’t have any illegal donations to publish.

Mr. Speaker, the Premier talks about openness and honesty   lot. In one speech she wanted to keep raising the bar on transparency and accountability. Can the Premier square that comment with the evidence of secrecy and cover-ups on things like those illegal donations?

Mr. Lukaszuk: I’m glad to hear, Mr. Speaker, that they will say on the record that they don’t have any illegal donations, but let me remind you that in the 2004 election one individual donated 75 per cent of their campaign funding, in the 2007 by-election that very same individual funded 99.7 per cent of the cost of their entire campaign, and in the 2008 election that very same individual funded 23.3 per cent of their campaign. It’s a matter of interpretation.

Speaker’s Ruling
Questions about Political Party Activity

The Speaker: You know, it’s becoming exhausting to stand up as many times as I have to stand up and interject and remind you of some of the rules. Now, I’m not going to take the time to read them all again. I may later. Please, let us not stray too far into this right now because it is against the rules to ask about issues pertaining to political parties in the way that some questions have been phrased and some answers have been phrased. So let’s be doubly careful.

Airdrie, you rose on a point of order, and that point of order has been noted. Thank you.