EDMONTON, AB (January 5, 2012): The Wildrose Caucus is once again calling on Premier Alison Redford to assure Albertans her PC party has stopped soliciting illegal political donations and will return all such donations received after the PCs confirmed yesterday that 10 of their constituency associations are under investigation by Elections Alberta for illegal activities. The 10 PC constituency associations are being investigated for soliciting and accepting political contributions that are illegal under several sections of the Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act.
The law makes it illegal for political parties to solicit and accept donations from organizations like municipalities. In December, it was reported that the Lac La Biche-St. Paul-Two Hills PC constituency association accepted $3,775 in illegal political contributions from the Town of St. Paul between 2005 and 2011. However, the investigation confirmed yesterday by the PCs acknowledges at least nine more of their constituency associations are under investigation for similar illegal activities. “Obviously, this is a bigger problem than anyone first thought,” Wildrose Deputy Leader Paul Hinman said. “With one in eight PC constituencies under investigation for illegal contributions, it’s reasonable to conclude this practice is rampant within the PC party.” Redford initially blamed municipalities for the illegal donations the PC party has accepted, but in a letter to all 83 PC constituency associations, PC party president Bill Smith acknowledged it is a “serious matter.” In the letter, Smith also asks the 73 associations not under formal investigation to “conduct a review of your last 3 years records and be in a position to assure me that you are confident all donations are appropriate and have been handled correctly.” Hinman also called on Redford to reveal which 10 constituency associations are being investigated by Elections Alberta. “This Premier promised transparency, she should demonstrate it now,” Hinman said. “These guys have conducted themselves as though they were above the law for years. Albertans deserve to know which PC constituencies and potentially which MLAs are involved in these illegal activities.” The Wildrose stands for free enterprise, less government, increased personal freedom and democracy.