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Wildrose helps push forward amendment in Bill 1, significant loopholes remain

EDMONTON, AB (June 23, 2015): Wildrose successfully helped amend Bill 1, An Act to Renew Democracy, to block a loophole allowing unions and corporations to make loan payments to political parties, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today. 

However, Wildrose expressed concerns that two significant loopholes remain in the legislation.

“Wildrose promised to fight for a total ban of corporate and union donations in the political process, and this is a critical first step,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “We were pleased that the bill passed, it will strengthen the democratic process for all Albertans. However, we are very concerned that the NDP government left two significant loopholes in the law. Unions and corporations can continue to guarantee loans to political parties, and they can donate their employees paid time.”

Wildrose proposed an amendment that would prevent unions and corporations from donating the paid time or subsidized time of their employees to political parties, but the NDP defeated that amendment.

Wildrose also proposed an amendment aimed to prevent unions and corporations from paying and/or backstopping loans to political parties. The government rejected that amendment, but did allow a change that prevented unions and corporations from making payments on loans for political parties.

Wildrose Shadow Democracy & Accountability Minister Jason Nixon said Wildrose will continue to push for a complete ban of union and corporate donations in any form before the all-party Select Special Ethics and Accountability Committee.

“The NDP need to close these two serious loopholes in the law,”Nixon said. “The continued existence of these loopholes leaves the appearance that special interests still have a direct hand in influencing and financing the NDP and that goes against the spirit and intent of Bill 1.”