Wildrose pushes to ban corporate and union donations to Alberta political parties

Wildrose Party leader Danielle Smith delivers a keynote speech at her party's annual general...

Wildrose Party leader Danielle Smith delivers a keynote speech at her party's annual general meeting at the Mayfield Inn and Convention Centre in Edmonton, Alta., on November 24, 2012. Party members traveled from across the province to attend. (Ian Kucerak/QMI Agency)

Catherine Griwkowsky, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:58 PM ET

EDMONTON - The Wildrose Party says corporate and union money needs to stay out of political donations in Alberta.

Bill 7, the Elections Accountability Amendment Act, would allow the electoral officer to show wrongdoings and give details on the penalties.

To the Wildrose, that isn’t enough and they say corporate and union donations to political campaigns should be banned.

“(Albertans) want to know that elections and governments aren’t for sale to corporate and union interests,” said Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith. “Elections belong to voters, not corporations and unions with deep pockets.”

A quarter of the Wildrose’s donations came directly from corporations, not including individuals who head corporations. With the new rules, the party would lose $893,432 from corporations. Additionally, $97,900 from individual donations greater than $10,000 would be out.

Currently, illegal donation investigation results don’t have to be made public, but the bill would also change that.

The Alberta Liberal Party has the least to lose with $4,000 of the total $91,710 coming from unions.

Corporate donations accounted for $979,400 of the PC’s $1,458,526.90 donations greater than $371, with an additional $150,000 from individuals on top of the Wildrose’s suggested limit of $10,000 per person during an election year.

Of donations greater than $371, the NDP collected $330,439.69, and union donations accounted for $217,471.75. Business donations came out to $7,600.

The proposed amendments to the bill would also include closing loopholes, increasing findings from three to seven years, and penalizing parties that accept illegal donations penalties.

catherine.griwkowsky@sunmedia.ca

@SunGriwkowskyC


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