“This legislation – the first bill of this government – is about focusing Alberta’s political parties where they should be focused: on Albertans. We are doing this by renewing our province’s democracy. Once this legislation is in place, Albertans can be assured that political parties in this province are responsible to them – and only to them, as citizens.”
If passed, Bill 1 will give power back to Albertans by banning corporate and union donations to political parties effective June 15, 2015. Only residents of Alberta will be permitted to contribute to a candidate, constituency association, political party or leadership contestant.
Contribution levels will remain unchanged, pending a broader review of the Elections Act, announced by Premier Rachel Notley.
The government is acting now to ensure that all political financing during the term of this legislature complies with these new rules.
With this measure, Alberta will join Quebec, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and the federal government in banning corporate and union donations in order to ensure political parties are focused on the interests of citizens, instead of the priorities of organizations with large bank accounts. Corporate and union donations are also banned federally.
“Many other issues need to be considered as we continue to work to renew democracy in Alberta. We will also review legislation governing elections, whistle-blowing, and conflict of interest. Premier Rachel Notley and the Leader of the Official Opposition, Brian Jean, have proposed a special committee of the Legislature to review these issues, and we will be carefully considering that committee’s recommendations.”
The Chief Electoral Officer was consulted and his advice was considered during the development of the bill.