Medicine Hat school officials admit making illegal donations to Alberta PCs

Catholic school officials in southern Alberta are admitting they illegally donated to a Premier Alison Redford Tory fundraising dinner last year.

EDMONTON — Catholic school officials in southern Alberta are admitting they illegally donated to a Premier Alison Redford Tory fundraising dinner last year.

David Leahy, superintendent of the Medicine Hat Catholic Board of Education, says the board spent $1,000 for five officials to attend a Redford dinner in October.

Publicly funded organizations, including school boards, are not allowed by law to contribute to political parties.

Leahy says when news of alleged illegal donations from municipalities began making headlines in December, they realized their own error and ordered the trustees to reimburse the funds out of their own pockets.

He says they were never aware that the practice was against the law, adding that their political funding activities have been restricted to one premier’s dinner a year, for networking purposes.

He couldn’t say exactly how much had been spent in illegal donations since the prohibition was put in place eight years ago.