EDMONTON, AB (January 12, 2012): The Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta should stop blaming everybody else for their own illegal activities and should apologize to every municipality, school board and post-secondary institution they have bullied and intimidated into giving them money illegally.
Earlier today, in response to revelations that the PC party has accepted illegal contributions from the University of Lethbridge, Advanced Education Minister Greg Weadick fired off a combative statement blaming post-secondary institutions and accusing them of being ignorant of the law. This is after Premier Alison Redford also tried blaming municipalities for the illegal donation scandal and contributions her party has accepted. “The PC party can’t pass the buck on their own corruption,” Wildrose Deputy Leader Paul Hinman said. “They’re the ones soliciting and bullying our municipalities and post-secondary institutions to get these illegal contributions. Now they’re turning around and publicly humiliating them for doing it. Instead of blaming the University of Lethbridge, they should return the money and apologize for even asking for it.” Under the Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act, it is illegal for political parties to solicit and accept political contributions from municipalities and post-secondary schools, among other public bodies. However, a review of the minutes of any municipality, school board or post-secondary institution will show discussions on invitations to partisan PC fundraisers (read: Premier’s Dinner). Wildrose Education Critic Rob Anderson said Weadick’s statement is an acknowledgement that illegal donations were accepted and the PC party should return the illegal donations immediately. “They’re trying to keep the cash and blame everybody else,” Anderson said. “The fact is this scandal has been perpetuated by the PC party for years. The PCs make sure these public bodies are kept aware of partisan Premier’s dinners and party fundraisers. They bully and intimidate public bodies to give them money and now that they have been caught they blame their victim.” The Wildrose Caucus stands for free enterprise, less government, increased personal freedom and democracy.