As Promised, Alberta Moves to Ban Corporate and Union Donations

As promised in the Throne Speech, the first bill introduced in the 29th Alberta Legislature amends the Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act (Alberta) by prohibiting contributions from corporations, unions, and unincorporated associations and organizations.

Bill 1: An Act to Renew Democracy in Alberta was introduced into the Alberta legislature and passed first reading on June 15th.

Here are some initial thoughts upon reading this bill.

Why do so many bills, including this one, come with such overdramatic and self-important sounding names? This bill prohibits contributions from corporations, unions and unincorporated organizations. Why not just call it An Act to prohibit contributions from corporations, unions and unincorporated organizations? Even the most fervent supporters of this policy must concede that its not going to renew democracy all by itself.

While contributions from corporations, unions and unincorporated associations and organizations are being prohibited, this bill does not change the contribution limits or limit election expenses. I am curious whether this is one of those necessary additional steps referred to in the throne speech.

This bill prohibits contributions from corporations and unions, but it does not prevent corporations and unions from guaranteeing loans and making loan payments for parties, candidates and constituency associations. The logic behind this doesn’t seem consistent to me. Why continue to allow corporations and unions to guarantee loans? Perhaps this is also one of those necessary additional steps referred to in the throne speech.

What do you think about corporate and union donations being prohibited in Alberta? And do you intent on participating in the consultation process on other democratic reform changes in Alberta?

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