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Return all illegal contributions now: Saskiw

EDMONTON, AB (January 31, 2013): The Progressive Conservative party should immediately repay every dollar of taxpayer money they solicited and received illegally after being found by Elections Alberta to have violated elections laws to the tune of at least $20,280, Wildrose Justice Critic Shayne Saskiw said today.

The money was accepted illegally after December of 2009 on behalf of taxpayer funded institutions like municipalities, post-secondary schools and school boards. Saskiw said the PCs cannot campaign with tax dollars and the actual amount they’ve been asked to repay is much larger. “Today, Elections Alberta has revealed that at least 20,280 taxpayer dollars are sitting in the PC war chest to be used in the next election campaign, but we know they have asked the party to return a much larger amount,” Saskiw said. “The PC party should immediately return that money to whom it belongs, the taxpayers of Alberta, and come clean on the full amount they have been asked to repay. Public dollars should be invested in public services, not funneled to political party bank accounts, and although this approach has been explicitly illegal since 2004, it has always been unethical.” The PCs have a long history of soliciting and accepting illegal political contributions from taxpayer-funded institutions, Saskiw added. Wildrose has uncovered several instances of the PCs accepting illegal contributions dating as far back as 2004. However, because of legislation passed this fall by the PCs, Elections Alberta can only report on activity after December of 2009. “The problem goes much, much deeper than what Elections Alberta revealed today,” Saskiw said. “Make no mistake, the PCs have collected tens of thousands of dollars illegally over the years, and this has been going on for decades. Elections Alberta has only scratched the surface of what is a deep rooted practice.”