Edmonton

Bill aims to cap donations to PACs in Alberta municipal elections

The government wants to cap donations to third-party advertisers or political action committees (PACs) during municipal elections at $30,000 per donor. 

Bill 45 also keeps senate and referendum votes on same day as municipal election

Alberta Municipal Affairs Minister Tracy Allard introduced Bill 45 on Wednesday. (Sam Martin/CBC)

The Alberta government wants to cap donations to third-party advertisers or political action committees (PACs) during municipal elections at $30,000 per donor. 

The measure is proposed in Bill 45, the Local Authorities Election Amendment Act, 2020 (No. 2) introduced Wednesday by Municipal Affairs Minister Tracy Allard. 

Unions, corporations, and other organizations are prohibited from donating to Alberta political parties but they can still contribute to third-party advertisers. 

The legislature passed changes to municipal election funding earlier this year, but didn't put a cap on donations. 

Bill 45 aims to change that. 

The bill also aims to harmonize dates for municipal, school trustee, senate and referendum votes that are set in legislation. 

The government wants all votes to take place on the third Monday in October so Albertans vote on senators and referendum measures on the same day they elect mayors, reeves, councillors and school trustees.

Under the old law, municipalities had the power to pass a bylaw prior to June 30 of an election year to move election day to the Saturday before the third Monday in October. 

Bill 45 proposes discouraging municipalities from moving the election date by making the relevant bylaw have no effect. 

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