EDMONTON, AB (January 13, 2012): The Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta accepted illegal contributions from the Medicine Hat Catholic Board of Education at the Oct. 20, 2011 Premier’s Dinner - the second fundraiser the PC party held after Alison Redford took office. The Medicine Hat Catholic Board of Education sent five individuals to the fundraiser using tickets the Board purchased.
Under the Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act Section 34(1)(2), it is illegal for political parties to solicit and accept contributions from “prohibited corporations,” such as school boards, municipalities and post-secondary schools. Wildrose Deputy Leader Paul Hinman is calling on Redford, as PC party leader, to immediately return the illegal donations and any other illegal contributions the PC party accepted at the Medicine Hat Premier’s Dinner. “It’s clear this illegal donation scandal extends into the new Premier’s term of office,” Hinman said. “She promised transparency and accountability. She can begin by returning these illegal donations to the Medicine Hat Catholic Board of Education and all others the PC party has solicited and accepted illegally.” The PCs are already under investigation for soliciting and accepting illegal donations from municipalities, and earlier this week Wildrose revealed the PCs accepted up to $15,000 in illegal contributions from the University of Lethbridge which have yet to be returned. Terry Riley, Board Chair for the Medicine Hat School District, also attended the Medicine Hat Premier’s Dinner. Redford thanked Mr. Riley for attending the Premier’s Dinner in a letter addressed to the school district head office and written on Premier of Alberta letterhead (Link – scroll to very bottom). Hinman said Redford should assure Albertans by clarifying whether or not she or any other party officials illegally solicited invitations to Mr. Riley, and any other attendees from the Medicine Hat School District, and make clear whether or not they paid out of their own pocket to attend the fundraiser. If the district paid, Hinman said Redford should also return those donations. “Ms. Redford must show that she’s different, that she’s not like every other out-of-touch PC Premier who is only out for herself,” Hinman said. “So far, she hasn’t shown that at all.” The Wildrose Caucus stands for free enterprise, less government, increased personal freedom and democracy. NOTE (Jan. 18, 2012): Mr. Riley has since contacted Wildrose and informed us his contribution was made personally.