Hot on the heels of news that at least 10 Alberta Progressive Conservatives riding associations are being investigated for accepting or soliciting illegal donations comes news that the PC's accepted $15,000 in illegal donations from the University of Lethbridge.
"The Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta collected more than $15,000 in illegal donations from the University of Lethbridge between 2004 and 2007, the Wildrose Caucus revealed today.
According to documents obtained under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (see chart below), the PC party collected $15,075 in contributions from the U of L for Premier’s Dinners, golf tournaments, “Meet the Minister” dinners, and party policy conferences.
Under the Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act, political parties are prohibited from soliciting and accepting contributions from groups such as municipalities, post-secondary schools, and other public institutions."
I doubt that this is even close to being the end of it either.
After 40 years of the PC's holding majority power in Alberta this type of nonsense and entitlement thinking runs rampant through all levels of our government and bureaucracy; the only way to stop it is to replace those who after 40 years continue to believe that they are entitled to rule, make up the rules, and that they themselves are above those rules.
Alberta, it is time for a change. Lets put an end to PC cronyism, entitlement, and systemic intimidation before it is too late.
UPDATE: The University of Lethbridge response can be found here.
Of note are the following lines:
1. In the fall 2005, the University of Lethbridge was notified of changes to the Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act.
2. As soon as the University of Lethbridge was notified of changes to the Act, University Administration, the Board of Governors and the Board Finance and Audit Committee took immediate steps to ensure the University was in compliance with the Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act.
Small problem. It was unlawful for any school, including the U of Lethbridge, to donate money to political parties LONG before fall 2005 and whether they were aware or not of this fact does not change at all the truth that illegal donations that were made and were accepted by the PCAA.
This Editorial, published before the U of Lethbridge story was known, in The Calgary Herald nails the real problem.
"We needn't qualify this by using "alleged" illegal contributions because elected officials in Alberta municipalities have publicly admitted it's been going on for years. Four decades of Progressive Conservative rule is so inculcated in Alberta that elected representatives in some small municipalities thought it was standard operating procedure for them to financially support their local MLA"
Here is something that might surprise you:
"The problem is we'll never know. Under Alberta's legislation, the results of the investigation will not be made public."
Surprise! They make the rules and conveniently enough those rules will end up shielding the PC party so that we will never know.
We need a change now.