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Issues more important than mudslinging says Tory MLA

Red Deer North MLA Mary Anne Jablonski said Friday she would rather spend her time fighting for local issues in the legislature than digging up dirt on the official opposition.

Jablonski made the comments in reference to allegations by the Wildrose Party about Tory contributions and subsequent allegations Thursday in the legislature that Wildrose MLA Rob Anderson solicited donations from Olds College via a letter to its president Tom Thompson.

Jablonski said all members of all parties know what the rules are and her expectation is they will respect those rules and follow the law.

“My job is to represent the people of Red Deer North and to work for them,” said Jablonski.

“I have issues that I have to take back to the legislature and get some work done for them. This sort of stuff I don’t think makes any type of progress. I don’t think it’s positive in any way shape or form. I prefer to spend my time and my efforts working for the people who elected me.”

A Wildrose letter was sent to Olds College in January and requested the college president’s attendance at a fundraising dinner with party leader Danielle Smith.

The college searched its records as part of a freedom of information request from a media outlet.

They also found a letter from a Tory volunteer who requested attendance at a Tory slow-pitch fundraising event.

Jordan Cleland, Olds College vice-president of Advancement, said he was pleased there was no evidence that college funds were directed to any partisan political activity.

The college has had the policy in place since 2005.

The president did not attend either event.

Two weeks prior to the freedom of information request, Alberta Advanced Education and Technology reminded post-secondary institutions of the Election Finances and Disclosure Act, which forbids colleges, universities and technical institutions to make any political donations to any political party or expense these related costs for reimbursement.

The terse warning came in the wake of allegations that post-secondary institutions in the province have made illegal contributions to the governing Tory party.

In Alberta it is illegal for municipalities, colleges, universities and technical institutions to make donations to any political parties in expenses or the like.

crhyno@reddeeradvocate.com

 
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