Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith released information acquired through a Freedom of Information request that revealed over $102,000 in hidden, illegal donations to the PC Party.
According to the documents, the donations were accepted illegally between 2004 and 2010 from taxpayer funded entities like municipalities, post-secondary schools and school boards. These are “prohibited corporations” under Alberta elections laws. These direct and indirect contributions ranged from $25 to $4,000.
Wildrose has written to Chief Electoral Officer Glen Resler and provided him with over 2,200 pages of documents which detail 238 instances of improper donations from 41 different “prohibited corporations” which are not allowed to directly or indirectly fund political parties.
Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith is calling on Premier and PC Leader Jim Prentice to direct his party to reimburse taxpayers for the full value of these illegal donations.
“If Mr. Prentice truly wants to show that he’s different, he will order the PC Party to immediately reimburse taxpayers for these illegal donations,” said Smith. “If he chooses to keep these illegally obtained funds in his party coffers, he will once again show he’s just more of the same.”
Wildrose sought out the information after the PCs passed a law in 2012 prohibiting Elections Alberta from being able to disclose illegal donations received prior to 2010. Wildrose made FOIP requests to municipalities, school boards and post-secondary institutions and found the PCs illegally solicited and/or accepted at least $102,776 from them between 2004 and 2010 – the timeframe the PCs blacked out through legislation.
Smith said Prentice should follow the standard set by Edmonton-Whitemud PC candidate Stephen Mandel, who earlier this week committed to reimburse taxpayers for a political contribution to the PCs he expensed when he was mayor of Edmonton.
“This is taxpayer money. It does not belong in a political party’s bank account,” Smith said. “Mr. Mandel did the right thing earlier this week by committing to reimburse taxpayers for his illegal donations. It now falls to Mr. Prentice to follow suit and make sure his party returns this money to these taxpayer funded entities.”