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Critics allege Daryl Katz tried to 'buy' the Alberta PCs
Linda Hoang, CTV Edmonton
Published Thursday, October 25, 2012 5:33PM MDT
Last Updated Thursday, October 25, 2012 6:30PM MDT
There are allegations being levelled against the province suggesting that Edmonton Oilers owner Daryl Katz tried to buy off the Tory government.
Documents made public earlier this week show Katz companies, employees and family members donated $300,000 to the party, but some reports show it could be as high as $430,000 - all of this done while Katz has been lobbying the government for cash for a new downtown arena.
The Globe and Mail reports that the donation was made in one single cheque, which is illegal, as no single contribution from an individual can be over $30,000.
This has opposition critics demanding the money be returned – and calling for an investigation.
“I think Daryl Katz just bought himself a government,” said NDP Leader Brian Mason.
“That’s a huge amount of money, $300,000. It’s 30 per cent of $1 million to the Progressive Conservative Party and they owe Daryl Katz big time and he’s going to collect, I guarantee it.”
“We want to make sure this is fully investigated, but I have to say this does call into question the integrity of the last election,” said Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith.
“I’m very confident in my party I’m very confident that our party has complied to all Elections Act financing rules,” said Premier Alison Redford.
Redford says the stance of funding on the arena has never changed.
“We’ve been very clear on the fact that this provincial government will not be providing any direct provincial funding to any professional sports arena,” Redford said.
Redford says the Chief Electoral Officer can launch an investigation into the issue if he believes it’s necessary.
“I’m sure the Chief Electoral Officer can - because he has before – decide to inquire with respect to particular contributions and if he chooses to do that we are more than happy to co-operate as we have,” Redford said.
“I am not suggesting that in any way that there’s anything that we need to provide further information on. We know the Chief Electoral Officer has the ability to do investigations, to provide advice to independent prosecutors and that will be entirely up to the chief electoral officer to decide to do that … and we are very happy to co-operate fully.”
So far there has been no written complaint to the Chief Electoral Officer so there is no investigation as of now.
If there is an investigation and it is determined there was wrongdoing – the party would have to return the money and the donor would be fined $10,000.
The Katz Group also donated $7,500 to the Wildrose Party.
With files from Kevin Armstrong
Documents show Katz companies, employees and family members donated $300,000 to the party, but some reports show it could be as high as $430,000 - all of this done while Katz has been lobbying the government for cash for a new downtown arena.
Daryl Katz takes ownership of the Edmonton Oilers during a news conference at Rexall Arena in Edmonton on July 2, 2008. (Jimmy Jeong / THE CANADIAN PRESS)