Friday , June 9 2023

UCP smashes 2018 fundraising totals, but all major parties break donation rules


United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney speaks in Edmonton on Jan. 29, 2018.


The UCP has left every other political party in its dust when it comes to 2018 fundraising figures released by Alberta, but will likely pay more than $ 30,000 after breaking contribution limits.

The UCP is not alone in falling foul of the $ 4,000 donation limits set by the NDP government two years ago – the NDP itself broke the rules to the tune of $ 24,785.

The Alberta and Liberal parties also had donors exceeding the $ 4,000 limit.

Dealing with penalties and over-donations were recently switched to the jurisdiction of the election commissioner. Prior to that, it fell to Elections Alberta.

Deputy Chief Electoral Officer Drew Westwater said in a statement Wednesday night parties are supposed to have systems in place that monitor individual donations, and both the donor and party can be fined for violations.

"Ever since contribution limits were introduced, people have not kept track of it very well," Westwater said.

While Elections keeps track of donations on an aggregate basis, he said, it's hard to know exactly who has donated what until the end of the year.

Swimming in cash

The official opposition raised $ 6.66 million in 2018, almost double the $ 3.39 million brought in by the NDP from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31.

In fact, the UCP raised more in its fourth quarter – $ 3.92 million – than the governing party raised the whole year.

Both the UCP and the NDP's fundraising efforts dwarfed those of the other parties during 2018.

Third in the province was Alberta Party with $ 594,000 followed by the Liberals with $ 196,000 and the Freedom Conservative Party with $ 39,776.

Progressive Conservative Party ($ 2,500), Wildrose Party ($ 1,825) and the Communist Party ($ 300). The Pro-Life Party did not raise anything.

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