An Alberta MLA is filing an official request with the province's elections commissioner over allegations that Premier Jason Kenney’s has misused finances from political action committees (PACs) to cover fees for certain participants at the party’s annual general meeting (AGM) this weekend.
An ex-UCP MLA turned independent , Todd Loewen (Central-Peace Notley) has sent a letter to Commissioner Glen Resler, asking him to look into the legality of using the PAC money in such a way.
"Allegations have surfaced that PACs are being used to cover UCP Annual General Meeting admission fees, for select participants, in an apparent attempt to influence results. This seems to be a violation of the Election Finance and Contributions Disclosure Act.
I have asked the Chief Electoral Officer, Glen Resler, for clarity on this matter. UCP Board elections need to be run on a level playing field where all candidates are operating under the same set of rules - right now, it's not clear that is the case," he announced on Facebook.
NDP MLA and Critic for Ethics and Democracy Thomas Dang says Kenney must respond to allegations his office is illegally funneling money from a PAC to the UCP party to try and rig the AGM.
“If Jason Kenney is so desperate that he needs to pay people to clap for him, that’s between him and the UCP membership,” said Dang. “But funnelling money from a PAC into a registered political party is illegal.” Dang says Albertans have had enough of the “endless UCP drama”
When asked about the allegations, Premier Kenney responded that it was “interesting” that reports leaked from a private caucus meeting.
“I’m not involved in third-party organizations, but third-party political organizations are free within the law to be involved in politics. And my understanding is that, for example, delegate registration fees are not considered a contribution,” he said.
“Organizations have supported the attendance of youth delegates who can’t afford to go and things like that. That’s hardly new… And I would expect fully that any organization involved is carefully following all of the relevant rules.”