April 17, 2012 (Calgary, AB): Today, Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith called on the Redford PCs to immediately stop using money obtained through illegal donations to finance their campaign, and return it to the publicly-funded agencies they took it from, before the April 23rd election. “Of all the issues that illustrate how the culture of corruption and entitlement have infected the Redford PC government, the widespread, repeated solicitation of illegal political donations from public agencies stands out as truly beyond the pale,” said Smith.
“Today, I am calling on them to return all the prohibited donations immediately, before they spend another nickel on their campaign.” On the eve of the election, Elections Alberta announced it has investigated 73 cases of prohibited donations. Although the results of those investigations are secret under a law passed when Alison Redford was Justice Minister, Wildrose and media investigations have revealed that universities, colleges, municipalities, and other public agencies have illegally donated tens of thousands of dollars to the PCs over the last several years, including at an Alison Redford fundraiser last fall. In response to these revelations, the PCs have blamed the donors and denied that they actively sought kickbacks from recipients of public funding. “If the Redford PCs have a shred of democratic decency left, they will immediately give back all the illegal donations they’ve collected over the last several years, and only finance their campaign with legal donations – if they have any,” Smith said. As part of its commitment to replace the Redford PC culture of corruption and accountability with a new Wildrose culture of transparency and accountability, a Wildrose government will legislate to make the office of Alberta’s Chief Electoral Officer truly independent so it can fully investigate, prosecute, and make public the results of all their investigations, including the Redford PC party financing scandal.