Elections Alberta will name those who violate laws, province says
EDMONTON -- The Alberta government says people and companies who violate election laws will be publicly identified after an Elections Alberta report withheld names of those fined or sanctioned.
In a report on findings and decisions on investigations completed this year, Elections Alberta appeared to no longer identify those who had received fines or sanctions.
In the "contributor" column of the report, violators were simply referred to as "corporations" and "non-resident individuals."
Reports completed as recently as Nov. 1 by Election Commissioner Lorne Gibson named specific individuals and companies fined for violating election laws.
The apparent change sparked outrage from NDP Leader Rachel Notley, who commented on the report Wednesday night, calling it a "continuation of Jason Kenney's effort to cover-up his misdeeds & those of his UCP party members, who apparently find it impossible to follow Alberta's election laws."
But Thursday, the province announced that it would disclose individual names of people who break election laws.
"On November 26, 2019, Elections Alberta posted updated investigation results for investigations that had commenced prior to the formation of the Office of the Election Commissioner. This disclosure followed the format that has historically been used by the office, which does not include individual names," the province said.
"This is different from the disclosure practices of the former Election Commissioner, and has prompted questions and concerns regarding future disclosure."
After a review, the province said it would re-post the Chief Electoral Officer's findings and decisions for 2018-19 with the names of those fined or reprimanded.
Elections Alberta's website was updated to list the names of some fined and sanctioned individuals and companies by late Thursday morning.
Gibson was pushed out of a job after the government introduced Bill 22, which merges Gibson's office with that of the Chief Electoral Officer.
The legislation generated outrage from the NDP because Gibson was still conducting an investigation into allegations of illegal donations in the 2017 UCP leadership race.