Alberta’s ethics commissioner won’t rule on a recent ethics complaint filed from the Opposition NDP that alleges Premier Jason Kenney improperly used the office of the premier in fundraising letters.
In a letter to Ethics Commissioner Marguerite Trussler, NDP democracy and ethics critic Heather Sweet said the alleged violation stems from a “fundraising letter sent by the United Conservative Party soliciting contributions to cover the United Conservative Party’s outstanding campaign debt of $340,000.”
In Trussler’s May 24 report, she says she reviewed the Conflicts of Interest Act and the role and powers of the Ethics Commissioner, but states the alleged breach doesn’t violate the act and would instead be a question of moral integrity.
“I am not deciding whether signing a letter as ‘Premier’ to fundraise for a party offends the dictionary or generally held view of the meaning of ethical, or is appropriate practice, as such a determination does not fall within the jurisdiction of the Conflicts of Interest Act,” Trussler wrote in the report’s conclusion.
“If I were asked, I would suggest that this practice be avoided because it is not considered appropriate to use a government office (e.g. Premier, Minister) to raise funds for a political party but is not prohibited by the Conflicts of Interest Act.”
Sweet, who filed the initial complaint, said Monday she respects the ruling.
“It’s clear the commissioner is not a fan of the Premier using his office to raise money for his party but doesn’t have strong enough legislation to rule in favour of a contravention. I call on the UCP to do the right thing and strike a bi-partisan committee to review of the Conflict of Interest Act and ensure this doesn’t happen again,” she said in a statement.
‘Fundraising is a political activity’
Trussler explains in her report that “fundraising is a political activity.”
She said that “signing a fundraising letter as ‘Premier Jason Kenney’ is furthering a political activity, and, in so signing, Premier Kenney did not contravene the Conflicts of Interest Act.”
Search your Cities weather below
Originally posted 2019-05-28 00:03:27. Republished by Blog Post Promoter