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A five-year ban handed over to the leader of the Alberta Party resulted in an "overreach", Kenny says



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Alberta Party leader Stephen Mandel speaks at a press conference in Edmonton on Saturday, February 9, 2019.

Jason Francois / Canadian Press

The rules that prevented the entry of party leader Albert Stephan Mendel in the elections until 2023 are fair and simple, says the minister for the renewal of democracy.

"I understand that the Alberta elections spoke very clearly about all the candidates and the campaigns about the changes and their deadlines," Minister Christina Gray said yesterday.

UCP leader Jason Kenny called the punishment – which now prompted Mendel to go to court – a disproportionate sanction. He said he supported Mendel's appeal.

The case will be heard in the court of Queen's Bench on 22 February.

The Alberta elections registered Mendel as lacking to run for five years after he missed the deadline to submit his financial paperwork.

He said that he only discovered the problem on January 30, despite receiving a letter to the Alberta elections last July that spelled out September 12 deadline office. There was also an additional grace period of 10 days.

But the former mayor of Edmonton and the conservative Conservative Congressman submitted his campaign expenses to the Edmonton-McClung appointment contest on September 27.

Chief Financial Officer Brian Heidecker, who has since retired, was tasked with tracking expenses, which were limited to $ 10,000 under the election rules.

Mendel said Heidecker missed the filing date because he was ill. The return of the campaign was zero dollars.

Failure to submit time automatically results in a $ 500 fee. But more severe penalties include a five-year ban on late filing and a ban of eight years, if no paperwork was filed at all.

"Making big money out of politics, making sure there's increased transparency, and making sure the Libertans know who is involved in the political process … all these are positive changes," Gray said.

NDP passed legislation in 2016 to amend the election funding laws. The changes included applying the same standards that are used in election competitions for appointments, she noted.

"Appointment is a very important part of someone going this way and becoming an MLA," she said.

"NDP overreach"

Mendel said that the rules are confusing and disagree with the timeline set by the Alberta elections. He plans to argue in court that he did submit his paperwork within a four-month window described in the legislation.

The fate of five other candidates of the Alberta Party, who also suffered a five-year prison term, is still unclear. They are Ali Haymor, Diana Lee, Emrit Farrow, Moe Rahel and Rachel Timerman.

Deputy Prime Minister Sarah Hoffman remained on the issue on Monday, saying only that it was before the courts.

"I trust Mr. Mandel to work in the trial process and make sure he has the opportunity to appeal," she told reporters.

"My focus on being honest and honest is to ensure that we are re-elected and that we have a government that continues to invest in projects."

But Kenny said that the UCP government would review the legislation to ensure penalties are proportionate to the offense.

"This unfortunate situation appears in part of the unification of the Nazi party in the search for internal party candidates through legislation," he said in a statement on Twitter.

Rachel did not call provincial elections, but could have downloaded the article as early as February 1, launching a 28-day travel period. It is expected to call elections between March 1 and May 31.

cclancy@postmedia.com

twitter.com/clareclancy

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