Report finds town contributed to PC Party

A ball tournament held in the fall of 2010 in Sylvan Lake did not take place on a level playing field according to a report

A ball tournament held in the fall of 2010 in Sylvan Lake did not take place on a level playing field according to a report posted by Elections Alberta.

The report states the town didn’t play by the rules at the fundraiser for former Tory MLA Luke Ouellette and did not charge the PC Constituency Association for the use of the community centre during the function.

Mayor Susan Samson confirmed an invoice had not been issued for the use of the community centre during the ball tournament.

She said council was not aware of the situation at the time, noting it was an unfortunate occurrence that happened before CAO Betty Osmond came on board.

“I’m not happy that it happened, but I am very confident it won’t happen again.”

Osmond said she became aware of the incident when one of her staff brought it to her attention and wanted direction.

“It was very simple. It wasn’t appropriate and it wasn’t legal. As a CAO it is my responsibility to be aware of the legislation. Any such practice was stopped when I came (to Sylvan Lake).”

As a result of waiving the rental fee, Sylvan Lake has been singled out in the Elections Alberta report for making a direct contribution of $640 to the Innisfail-Sylvan Lake Progressive Conservative Constituency Association.

Because of the infraction, the town was slapped with a $160 penalty from Elections Alberta and the constituency association was ordered to cough up the $640.

An investigation by chief electoral officer Brian Fjeldheim’s investigation revealed 45 cases of illegal contributions. The largest contribution came from the Town of Okotoks at $2,550 and the Town of Rimbey made an indirect contribution of $850 when the town paid for two tickets to the premier’s fundraising dinner in Edmonton.

Details of violations have been released as far back as December 2009. Infractions that occurred prior to that cannot be released due to the Election Accountability Amendment Act.