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Alberta NDP filed a fundraising ethics complaint against Premier Jason Kenney



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The Opposition CD filed an ethics complaint against Premier Jason Kenney on the first day of the legislative session on Wednesday, claiming he had used the main fundraising office inappropriately.

"This contradiction is the result of a fundraising letter sent by the United Conservative Party asking for contributions to pay the $ 340,000 debt of the United Conservative Party," NDP democracy critic and ethics Heather Sweet wrote in a letter to the Commissioner. Ethics Marguerite Trussler.

The letter is dated 15 May but the party confirmed that it had e-mailed the letter to Trussler's office on Wednesday morning before the throne speech. Trussler does not uphold or deny complaints.

"It is clear from this that Premier Jason Kenney and the United Conservatives are using Jason Kenney's position as Prime Minister of Alberta Province to generate money to pay over a quarter of a million debt they had received during the recent campaign," he said. T Sweet, adding that this, "in our mind, breaks the ethical obligations that the United Conservatives, as well as all other parties, owe to the people of Alberta."

Sweet's complaint to the ethics commissioner included two fundraising letters directing the head office and Premier Kenney.

The first is a letter that Kenney sent UCP supporters on May 2. We started by stating the UCP's "historical victory" in the provincial election in April and then listing the party's stage promises, before asking for help.

"Thanks to the incredible generosity of our supporters, we raised enough money to pay for our $ 2 million campaign," said Kenney. "But we also paid expenses in preparation for the campaign, including pre-election advertising which was a key part of our success.

"I am told that we need to raise $ 340,000 to pay all our bills," Kenney continues. "I hope you can help us with today's contribution to cover those costs."

The letter "Premier Jason Kenney."

Sweet said that this was a potential breach of the Conflict of Interest Act of the province.

"Under the ethical obligations as an elected officer, we will not use our titles to raise money," he said. "And yet we use this as an opportunity to rally its base and to raise money from it."

Sweet said that Kenney can use her title as the UCP leader to raise money, but "unethical" to use her title as president to do so.

Christine Myatt, Kenney's press secretary, said after contacting CBC News for comments from the Council, the party questioned with the ethics commissioner and told that there is nothing in either letter "raises no ethical concerns."

In response to a question from Sweet in the Thursday afternoon legislature, the government leader Jason Nixon reiterated that there was nothing on the fundraising letters.

"Let me be clear: we did nothing from its place, we have no concerns about how we have acted on this," Nixon said, "he added, in the future, we will not use our titles. within our party's emails. "

This is not the first time Kenney has landed in hot water over a fundraising letter.

In March 2011, a member of staff working for Jason Kenney – the then federal immigration minister – resigned after sending the Conservative Party's fundraising letter using the headline of MP Kenney.

Kenney apologized and took responsibility for the actions of his employee. His spokesman said that the use of parliamentary or governmental resources for party activities was "totally unacceptable."

Three months later, the staffer was re-appointed as Kenney's communications director.

Shame for a fundraising ethics complaint

The second communication in question was sent by UCP Government House Leader Jason Nixon on 13 May.

Nixon, who is also the environment minister, asked party supporters for a "small donation" to help spread the creation of UCP jobs. The email opens with a description of two "our Premier" commitments made in Grande Prairie the previous day: to cut the corporate tax rate and remove the provincial carbon tax.

While Nixon is specifically talking about Kenney's cabinet situation – even adding to the end, "It's a good feeling to ring Jason Kenney in the end!" – it's not mentioned by itself, signing the letter as "MLA: Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre."

The NDP believes there is a precedent for his complaint against Kenney.

In March 2012, then Conservative Prime Minister Alison Redford ordered Gary Mar to take a paid holiday from his job as Alberta's Asian trade missionary in Hong Kong, while an ethics investigation was carried out.

Mar held a fundraising event at Edmonton Petroleum Club on March 1 to help pay $ 262,000 in debt left behind his failure to lead the Alberta Progressive Conservative party.

A source from CBS News said that one version of an invitation for the event had mentioned Mar's situation in Asia and suggested that ticket holders would learn how to do business in Hong Kong.

The tickets were $ 400 and the organizers were selling on a trip to Hong Kong.

The second version of the invitation did not include any reference to the Mar.

After the ethics commissioner decided that the matter was not under her jurisdiction, the government hired a labor relations expert to carry out an independent investigation.

The review found no conflict because Mar was not concerned with asking for money directly from the lunch or the money going directly to him. And people attending the event were not given information that was not readily available to the public.

The review also found that the winner of the trip was not given or expected by the winner of the trip to Hong Kong.

Mar was a cabinet minister of the former premier league Ralph Klein. Redford has named Mar as a Hong Kong post two weeks after he came second in the leadership race.

Although the review had cleared Maw, then Wildrose leader Danielle Smith said the situation was not "passed the smell test." He said Marne should repay the $ 20,000 raised at the dinner to keep her job in court.

If you have information about this story, or information about another story, please contact us in confidence on cbcinvestigates@cbc.ca

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