Katz? Request for Casino License Turned Down
Doug Horner, finance minister for Albert, said that the government refused to fund a new arena and supply a casino license as requested by Edmonton Oiler Daryl Katz, who had donated heavily to the Tories.
Opposition Attacks Tories Over Casino License
When members of the opposition party attacked the Tories for accepting a huge contribution of $300,000 from the Katz family and their associates during the Question Period, Horner said that the government has refused to bow down to Katz' demands for a casino license, adding that size of donations do not have the power to alter government policies. Horner also accused the opposition party of behaving in a hypocritical manner since it has also accepted large donations.
Opposition parties, however, are not convinced and feel that Katz is somehow in a position to influence the government's casino gambling policies. Danielle Smith, leader of Alberta Wildrose, as well as the New Democrats have requested Elections Alberta to find out if the Tories had broken spending limits after accepting Katz' huge campaign contribution, especially when no other individual or organization is permitted to contribute a donation over $30,000.
Brian Mason, the NDP leader, said that he wants proof. He said, "No reasonable person would believe that Daryl Katz would have given up to $430,000 to the Tory campaign without getting something in return. Albertans want to know the terms of the deal."
City Votes Against Casino Deal
According to a Tory spokesperson, the party has all the documents to prove that it has not broken any law. Meanwhile, Katz Group has refused to make any comments.
Raj Sherman, the liberal leader, said that the present rules do not stop companies, wealthy individuals, and unions from giving large contribution campaigns to political candidates.
Doug Griffiths, municipal affairs minister, said that councilors of Edmonton city can use provincial infrastructure grant money if they want to construct an arena. He also criticized Rob Anderson, member of Wildrose, for complaining when he already had one in his territory.
As per the original deal, the Oilers can pocket the profits for 11 months every year while the owner of the arena would be Edmonton. Early this month, the city voted against the deal, especially when Katz refused to give an explanation on why he required $210 more from Edmonton city.