The Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) has made a request for the province to change its Local Authorities Election Act to ban campaign contributions from corporate and union donors. Big city mayors in Alberta, including Don Iveson (Edmonton) and Naheed Nenshi (Calgary) indicated that they would support the ban, as long as regulations were changed to to ensure that donors to municipal election campaigns were eligible to receive tax credits for their contributions.
The request from AUMA came as Ontario’s liberal party has been the subject of controversy for its use of corporate donations, specifically a $6,000/plate fundraiser that promises executives from the energy industry face-time with Premier Kathleen Wynne and Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli. However, responding to media questions yesterday, Premier Wynne indicated that the province may be open to placing tighter rules on corporate and union donations:
“I think we do need to make changes…we follow the rules as they exist now, but are they the right rules and do we need to change who can give what? Absolutely, I think we need to look at that.”
As part of Ontario’s review of the Municipal Elections Act, AMCTO recommended that the government change election laws at the local level to give municipalities the option to limit or ban contributions from corporate and union donors.