Alberta Mirror

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Specialists say replacement to election finance act might grant unlimited contributions

Key points: 

  • The offered amendment might undermine the integrity and public return in an election financing. 
  • Bill 81 was initiated in the legislature on Thursday by Justice Minister Kaycee Madu, offering amendments to the Election Act, The Election finances and Contributions Disclosure Act and The Alberta Personal Income Tax Act. 

Bill 81 introductions proposing amendments to the Election Act: 

A Government amendment to Alberta’s election finance act generates a loophole that seems to grant unlimited donations to a political party through the applicant nomination process, a professional in election finance states. 

Justice Minister Kaycee Madu initiated Bill 81, the Election Statues Amendment, Act, in the legislature on Thursday. 

The bill amends the Election Act, the Election Act Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act and the Alberta Personal Income Tax Act. The bill is so far to be discussed in the legislature. 

One of the bill’s amendments would grant unlimited contributions to Candidates in nomination races, although these donations would not be Tax nondutiable. 

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Madu previously explained the paucity of donation cap is not an issue as nomination candidates are not permitted to spend more than $12,500 on their nominations crusade. 

“I can’t find any mention in Bill 81 of amendments regarding the use of surpluses, so I have to assume that the provisions remain in place,” Young said. Source – cbc.ca

“This absolutely creates a back door to solicit contributions above the minimum and then transfer them into the campaign.” Source – cbc.ca

This would successfully avoid the cap on donations to the campaign of a party’s nominated candidate. 

“It makes it meaningless to say that you can only give [about $4,000] to a candidate who is running for election if you can give an unlimited amount to that candidate in the nomination, and then they transfer that over to the election,” Young said.

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