Welcome to St. Paul, Alberta, the home of Alberta’s first official UFO landing pad and now pork-barrel politics” according to an investigation by intrepid CBC reporter Charles Rusnell:
A top municipal official in St. Paul, Alta., used the city’s email system to solicit votes during the Conservative leadership race in a bid to ensure a local MLA remained in cabinet, a CBC News investigation has found.
Ron Boisvert, the town’s chief administrative officer, also helped organize a golf tournament in June to raise campaign funds for MLA Ray Danyluk. Boisvert participated in the tournament at the town’s expense, along with the mayor and two councillors.
It’s illegal in Alberta to use public money for partisan politics.
It has also been revealed that similar financial contributions were made by the Town of Barrhead and and Town of Cardston, where green fees were waived at a municipally-owned golf course in order to support a local PC Party fundraising event.
24 replies on “cbc uncovers den of “pork-barrel politics” near canada’s ufo landing pad.”
What else is new. These are the same people that then lobby for more jails to encarcerate others. Who said life is fair anyway. I know exactly what I would do with these people but I will refrain.
It isn’t just the above municipalities that are guilty. Councillors from Brazeau County charged an honorarium to the county to attend a public dinner with Danielle Smith. The Dinner was held to introduce the candidate for this constituency and all meals etc., were provided by the Wildrose Party. No elected official should be charging tax payers to attend any party specific function. There has to be some severe consequences for this type of conduct on the part of either staff or elected officials of municipalities.
This same issue threw out the whole council and mayor of Rimbey last October
Hah, you’re nominated for headline of the day, Dave.
Pat: I’m Wildrose and I don’t like that…BUT, Brazeau councilors did NOT donate directly to the Wildrose. That is far different that what happened in St. Paul, Cardston, Hardisty, etc. etc. etc. those towns DIRECTLY contributed to the PC party and that sir is illegal. How is something like this investigated and/or charged? Have no idea, but will be interesting to watch.
I am glad this underbelly of pork has been revealed.
If what Pat says is true, it’s exactly the same thing.
I have seen city councillors, town councils, md councils and school boards attend and pay for golf fees and tables at various fundraisers as ‘ networking’ . As local elected person I adamantly opposed such,sayingtax payer $ should not be used for political or charitable organizations of choice, I was looked on as an alien. Be interesting to look at official minutes & golf tournament guest lists around province.
If what Pay says is true, it is nothing like the same thing. It doesn’t say they contributed tax dollars directly to Wildrose…they were paid to be present at dinner….again, don’t like it, but completely out of Wildrose control and Wildrose received no $. If they did receive $, not good and it should go back. No question.
In Cardston, the request actually came from constituency president Pat Shimbashi to waive fees.
You won’t see any Wildrose CA do something so completely dishonest, unethical and, allegedly, against the law.
Sure, no, of course not. Keep thinking that. Pet the unicorn for me while you’re at it.
Interesting to note that the UFO Landing Site was built in 1967 (during a previous dynasty) for $11000, without any public funds required.
Beside a trite response, tell me how town Councillors being paid to go out in public is anyhow related to towns directly subsidizing, or funding, the PC party.
There is no comparison.
Dave, since a flash card is impossible to compose in this medium, I’ll try to use tiny words:
Public funds – used for partisan event. Bad. Not good. Unethical.
The issue here is that in both cases, the municipality is acting improperly. Full stop. Party activities on the public purse is wrong.
Which means you don’t get to play the sanctimony card re. ethics, okay?
The blame is not just on the municipalities. The people accepting the money have a responsibility, (a legal responsibility in fact) to refuse and/or return these donations.
The PC party, it’s officials, and several of its MLAs are all up to their necks in slime here.
Agree with broken winged . Even if pc party, or wildrose party didn’t know, it is still wrong! Public funds to attend, donate, solicit or give the impression of support is not good. Elected officials must be careful of which hat they are wearing or perceived to be wearing at all times especially in a small town where they are perceived to be leaders and may be seen to be endorsing a particular party while in their elected role. I know one fellow who is very careful of always paying his own way and advertising he is there on his own. It is understood l, while the local MD attends and pays as a council. Btw also Danyluk’s riding. How many people attended Redford’s premiers dinner in Red Deer last nightbpn other’s dimes?
Dave As a taxpayer, I don’t pay my taxes for a councillor to ‘go out in public’ . If the council attends one party function then in order to be non partisan should attend all, ndp,Alberta party, pc, liberal, Wildrose. Imagine the cost.
Actually ingenious of the Cardston constituency president to waive fees and have the whole council attend which would portray support of the Wildrose. Dave, I agree the conversation has digressed from using a town email system or donating directly to a party but it initiates some interesting ethical discussions b
This is why the right wingers want to get rid of the CBC. 🙂
I don’t think direct vs. indirect makes any difference; it’s unethical either way. For example, employees of the Calgary Board of Education worked on Allison Redford’s campaign on paid time. Their employer is a government organization. Therefore, it is an indirect contribution to the party. Does that make it okay? Not in my eyes.
This incident, when added to those that have occurred in the fairly recent past, illustrates the incestuous entanglement of the Alberta PC Party in every sector of public life and public policy in this province, brought about by four decades of one-party rule. Outside of metropolitan Calgary and Edmonton, the Tories are the only route to discussion of public policy, and municipal lobbying of the provincial government is widespread.
During the Lougheed years I witnessed high paid Government Officials tell staff
and the public to buy a PC membership to have a voice in Government. In the Klein years we had government managers where I worked, who were given PC cellphones so they could carry out campaign work while on the job in the public service. I saw a 427 government number published as a how to contact the Tory campaign in the Redwater riding. A businessman in Westlock complained about being strong armed to support the Conservative Party. The businessman wrote Premier Klein and Klein’s office sent the letter to Kowalski to answer. Kowalski wrote all Town Councils and County Councils to not buy products products from this man’s business. These tricks are not new and have been used since the Tories took office. In all cases senior Tories were aware of these behaviours.
This is what makes this regime a hypocritic joke. They have this anti-bullying campaign, is there any body that has not received some level of intimidation, bullying and co-ercion?
It should be made illegal to to use Gov’t resources for political purposes. A gov’t is NOT a political party.
So it looks like the business man who complained to Klein got mobbed by the Tories. If Conrad Black went to jail after all of those years for embezzling a few million dollars, you can apply that same standard and use your imagination.
I only have one comment about what you told in your message. Charge them and put them in jail. That is fraud. The times when these people got away with murder should be over. If we want to move forward as a nation we have to expect higher standards in all sectors of society and especially politicians who right now rate in the lowest of the lowest in terms of public trust. They are all very good at building jails for others especially the Harper mafia.
There is a difference between the St. Paul and Brazeau situations. While the municipality may have paid an honorarium to the councillor to attend the meeting (free meeting, so no money was paid to the WRA), the money went to the councillor, not the WRA.
In the St. Paul case, municipal resources were used to directly benefit the PC organization. Not sure how municipal councillors attending a free event is considered a material benefit to the WRA.
Councillors are paid to attend a wide variety of events – from Chamber Business of the Year banquets to meetings with provincial and federal representatives – and it makes sense to attend a political meeting so as to present issues of concern to the municipality to that organization, whether it be the PCs, Wildrose, Liberals, ATA, AUPE, AUME, AAMD&C, etc. Not everyone agrees with every meeting attended, that’s how local politics works. It also make sense to pay those people for their time.
Sorry for the lack of flash cards or tiny words, google what you don’t understand.
Yes you do…you pay MLAs for individual meetings and you pay town mayors and Councillors to go to public events….some don’t have a set salary, but are paid on a per diem basis.
Dave I know I do. I am more than fully aware how municipal councillors are paid but I feel or expect my tax dollars should not to be abused by paying them to attend political party fundraisers or raise their income by attending every event. There are towns etc that budget or restrict the income collected outside of meetings.