Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan demands NDP strengthen PACs legislation

Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan has issued the following release:

A recent Elections Alberta Report shows the NDP are financially benefiting from their failure to meaningfully regulate Political Action Committees (“PACs”).

The NDP-affiliated PAC “Project Alberta” (run by a former NDP staffer) received $340,000 in lump-sum donations this year from United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 401 and the Toronto office of the United Steelworkers (USW). That’s according to a report on the donations received by third-party advertisers.

Khan stated, “The NDP hid behind flimsy legal arguments and refused to support the Liberal bill to regulate PACs last fall. Instead, this Government introduced weak legislation still focused largely on third-party “advertising” that failed to set contribution limits or reflect the evolution of PACs in Alberta. It did not ban union, corporate and out-of-province/ foreign donations or regulate spending outside of the short official election period. It also refused to legally define PACs. The NDP effectively gutted the bill to suit their own political agenda.

“I question the Government’s motives with this big union money flowing towards an NDP-affiliated PAC. The NDP banned these types of donations to political parties. But they are now circumventing their own election finance reform. Why?

“The $90,000 reported from the USW is particularly troubling. It’s coming from their Toronto national headquarters. Is that the true source of the money? Or is this coming from Alberta members’ dues with their permission? Albertans deserve answers.

“The Government of Alberta should be accountable to the people of Alberta. Not Big Unions. And not out-of-province (or foreign) entities and individuals. I’m calling on the NDP to do the right thing. This Government must disavow Project Alberta and any affiliated PACs. I’m offering the NDP a chance to work with the Liberals and get PAC legislation right in the fall session of the Legislature.”

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