Alberta PCs ask constituency associations for financial help

Financial documents prepared for Elections Alberta show the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party raised $3.4 million through the campaign period of April 7 to July 5 but spent $4.3 million, leaving it with a $920,000 deficit.

Unsuccessful provincial election campaign period left party with deficit of $920,000

Jim Prentice resigned as party leader and the MLA for Calgary-Foothills on election night after the PCs lost to the NDP. The unsuccessful campaign left the PCs with a deficit of $920,00. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

The Alberta Progressive Conservative Party has asked its constituency associations for help dealing with the party's debt.

Financial documents prepared for Elections Alberta show the party raised $3.4 million through the provincial election campaign period of April 7 to July 5 but spent $4.3 million, leaving it with a $920,000 deficit. 

Party executive director Troy Wason said the constituency associations were asked to donate whatever they could to help out and many came through. 

"There are a number that have six-figure bank accounts," he said. "We have asked for voluntary contributions to help us in this particular moment. It has been very well-received. We have had commitments from a large portion of them." .

The deficit adds to the party's financial woes. The Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta raised only $15,576 in the third quarter of this calendar year from July 1 to Sept. 30. Changes in election laws means the party can no longer rely on corporate donations that filled its war chest for decades. 

The party has secured a $1-million line of credit and has worked out arrangements to pay back creditors over 10 months, Wason said. 

The Alberta NDP, which ended the PC's 44-year grip on power by winning a majority government in May's provincial election, spent $1.63 million, ending the campaign period with a surplus of $7,160.

The PCs got the financial statements in on time last week but they were sent back for not complying with Elections Alberta guidelines. Wason said the auditors didn't send documents with original signatures.

The party used PayPal to take online donations. But officials didn't submit breakdowns for which donations qualified for tax receipts and which came from membership fees, which don't qualify for tax receipts.

Wason said Elections Alberta should have the correct information this week.

The Wildrose Party also missed the deadline due to an administrative error. Party executive director Jeremy Nixon said Elections Alberta was expected to have the proper documents by the end of Monday.

The Wildrose, which serves as Alberta's Official Opposition, ended the campaign period with a surplus of $523,956. The party raised $1.7 million and spent $1.2 million during the campaign period