Mar defends controversial fundraiser

Former Tory leadership candidate Gary Mar is defending himself against allegations of possible ethical breaches. He tells CTV News that there was nothing wrong with a fundraiser held for him which included selling a trip to Hong Kong.

EDMONTON — Former Tory leadership candidate Gary Mar is defending himself against allegations of possible ethical breaches.

He tells CTV News that there was nothing wrong with a fundraiser held for him which included selling a trip to Hong Kong.

The $400-a-ticket fundraiser was held to help pay off debts Mar had accumulated during his failed bid to become Alberta’s premier last year.

Recent documents show the campaign cost Mar $2.7 million, and that he still owed $262,000.

Days after details of the event went public, Premier Alison Redford suspended Mar from his duties as Alberta trade representative to Asia.

Mar and his family were supposed to have moved to Hong Kong this week, but that has been delayed pending a review by ethics commissioner Neil Wilkinson.

Mar said Tuesday nobody involved in the fundraiser meant to break ethical conduct, and said the event was no different than any other fundraiser.

“The leader of the opposition would do exactly the same thing; they would raise money for the New Democratic Party, the Liberal party,” Mar said. “I think you have to look at the intent of what people are trying to do. The words themselves are not as important as to what the intent was, and the intent was a good one.”

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