February 23, 2016
Notley caught courting big corporate donations outside Alberta
Today, Wildrose Shadow Democracy & Accountability Minister Jason Nixon wrote a letter to Alberta’s Ethics Commissioner after the Premier's Office admitted that Premier Rachel Notley was the guest of honour at a $10,000-per-head Ontario NDP fundraiser targeted at companies that do business in Alberta.
The fundraiser was held on Feb. 19 at the lavish 19th floor dining room of the Royal York Hotel in Toronto. Each ticket was sold for $9,975. Wildrose has learned that invitations were directed at companies that have substantial commercial interests in Alberta. The secret fundraiser was not scheduled on the premier’s public itinerary.
In June, new legislation made it illegal for corporate or union bodies to donate to political parties in Alberta.
“When thousands of Albertans are losing their jobs or struggling to make ends meet, Ms. Notley’s team has been busy selling exclusive access to the Premier of Alberta for $10,000 a ticket to help out their NDP friends,” Nixon said. “Even more alarming is the secret nature of these events being hidden from the Alberta public. Ms. Notley once campaigned on greater openness and transparency in politics, but within a year she is now conducting secret big money corporate fundraisers for her friends.”
There is no record of who attended the exclusive high-level fundraiser. Under Ontario election finance laws, any businesses that conducts business in Ontario can donate to a political party.
In 2012, Notley boasted of her commitment to not accepting corporate donations during legislative debate saying, “We, in fact, have a principle and a rule in our party that we don't accept corporate donations. Notwithstanding that the law allows it, we don't accept them.”
“This secret fundraiser clearly breaks the spirit and intent of Alberta’s election financing laws,” Nixon said. “It’s becoming clear to Albertans that the NDP have already forgotten the principles they once campaigned on and it’s time they start explaining themselves.”