Alberta says restrictions on political donations just the start of reforms

Alberta’s justice minister says a bill to ban corporate and union donations to political parties is just the start of democratic reform.

EDMONTON — Alberta’s justice minister says a bill to ban corporate and union donations to political parties is just the start of democratic reform.

Kathleen Ganley said Tuesday that a new, all-party legislature committee will be looking at other issues related to campaign financing, including donation limits and whether to extend a similar ban to municipal politics.

“Bill 1 is the beginning of our government’s work to renew democracy in Alberta,” Ganley told reporters.

“Ensuring Albertans can continue to fully exercise their democratic rights is something that is very important and close to the hearts of the premier and this government.”

Bill 1, An Act to Renew Democracy in Alberta, bans corporate and union donations to political parties retroactive to when it was introduced on Tuesday.

Former Progressive Conservative governments have long received the vast majority of corporate donations, totalling into the millions of dollars.

Opponents said it not only skewed the playing field but suggested that decisions by the province were for sale to the highest bidder.

The NDP benefited as well, from unions. In 2014, the NDP received almost $85,000 in union donations, more than 10 per cent of all fundraising.

Ganley said the committee, with nine government members and eight opposition members, will look at the larger reform issues including donation limits.

Right now, individuals can contribute up to $15,000 to a party a year, double that in election years.

All parties in the legislature except the PCs have said they would support the bill barring any changes.

But PC Leader Ric McIver said his nine-member caucus will not support the legislation.

He said the bill will just drive corporations to find other ways to funnel money to political parties, and he said the bill favours funding to the NDP.

Ganley disagreed.

“I don’t think it’s an attempt to skew in favour of any particular party,” she said.

“I think it’s an attempt to skew in favour of ordinary Albertans so that they are the ones that have the loudest voice in our election financing.”

Just Posted

Scares and chills await at haunted house in Red Deer

Zed Haunted House helps raise money for Boys and Girls Club of Red Deer District

PHOTO: Renewable Energy Fair at Red Deer College

The Renewable Energy Fair and Workshops event was held at Red Deer… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Red Deer College Queens host third annual Pink in the Rink game

Queens raised $12,035 for the Central Alberta Cancer Centre.

PHOTOS: The Mustard Seed CEO speaks at Seeds of Hope Gala in Red Deer

The first-ever Seeds of Hope Gala was held at the Red Deer… Continue reading

Person airlifted to hospital after collision near Innisfail

One person was airlifted to hospital after a serious collision west of… Continue reading

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

Turkey to reveal details of probe into Khashoggi’s killing

ISTANBUL — In a sign of growing pressure on Saudi Arabia, Turkey… Continue reading

Utah truck driver is jailed without bond after crash kills 6

HEBER, Utah — A man suspected of driving under the influence remained… Continue reading

A ragged, growing army of migrants resumes march toward US

TAPACHULA, Mexico — A ragged army of Honduran migrants streamed through southern… Continue reading

Postal workers to begin strikes in 4 Canadian cities Monday if deal not reached

OTTAWA — The union representing 50,000 Canada Post employees says it will… Continue reading

Migrant caravan swells to 5,000, resumes advance toward US

CIUDAD HIDALGO, Mexico — Despite Mexican efforts to stop them at the… Continue reading

“I don’t feel real”: Mental stress mounting after Michael

PANAMA CITY, Fla. — Amy Cross has a hard time explaining the… Continue reading

Toronto residents set to vote Monday on the next four years of civic leaders

Toronto’s municipal election campaign, marked by unprecedented provincial interference, ends Monday when… Continue reading

Former PQ minister Lise Payette remembered as role model for female politicians

MONTREAL — Members from across Quebec’s political spectrum gathered at a downtown… Continue reading

Most Read