Opposition criticizes election financing bill as fall session wraps at Alberta legislature

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The Alberta government has wrapped up its fall sitting, with Premier Jason Kenney‘s United Conservatives debating long into the night to pass an election financing bill.

The bill makes multiple changes, including placing a cap on contributions to party nominees and setting a fixed election date in late May.

But critics, including the Opposition NDP and some UCP backbenchers, say the legislation opens the door to wealthy donors bulk-buying memberships — a threat that would allow big money to tip the scales in internal party contests.

NDP critic Thomas Dang says the move props up an embattled Kenney as he faces unrest in the party’s ranks and a leadership review in the spring.

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Government House Leader Jason Nixon dismissed the criticism, saying governments should not dictate how political parties or private clubs conduct internal affairs.

Nixon says UCP bylaws make it clear that people can only buy memberships for themselves or for spouses and young family members.

© 2021 The Canadian Press



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