The government has introduced a new bill that could change the way political campaigns are run in Alberta.
If passed the Fair Elections Financing Act would introduce a sunshine list for third-party advertising and limit campaign contributions, spending and advertising during elections.
The new legislation will introduce a limit of $4.000 per year for individual donors, which applies to any combination of parties, constituency associations, candidates, leadership contestants and nomination contestants. It will replace the current maximum contribution of $15,000, or $30,000 during an election year.
“I know Albertans want big money out of politics, I know Albertans think a $ 15,000 from a single wealthy contributor is wrong,” Democratic Renewal Minister Christina Gray said on Monday.
The bill will also introduce campaign spending limits for the first time in Alberta, including a $2 million cap on spending for political parties and a $50,000 limit for individual candidates during an election. Nomination contestants would be subject to a $10,000 spending limit.
The minister says the government won’t stand in the way of leadership contests currently underway, but has introduced a provision to prevent surplus funds from being transferred back to the party after the leadership vote.
“[It’s] just to make sure that we are closing that loophole under the old rules that left open the possibility for big money to end up in party coffers,” Gray said.
The new legislation also limits the amount parties can spend on third-party advertising during an election. That’s set at $150,000, with no more than $3,000 allocated to “support or oppose candidates in a particular electoral division”.