Posted on Jul 15, 2020
NDP TO CALL ON AUDITOR GENERAL TO INVESTIGATE UCP ‘WAR ROOM’ OVER CONCERNS OF PARTISAN THIRD PARTY ADVERTISING
EDMONTON - NDP Energy Critic Irfan Sabir today wrote to Alberta’s Auditor General requesting a review of the spending of the Premier’s so-called “war room” in light of revelations they sponsored Conservative political ads and data collection.
In May, the war room ran an advertisement linking to an advertisement from Strongandproud.ca that solicited personal information and contained a link soliciting donations.
StrongandProud.ca is operated by Canada Strong and Proud, a federal third party that endorsed Andrew Scheer and the Conservative Party of Canada in the 2019 election. The group also states it’s affiliated with Alberta Proud, a provincial election and political advertiser that supported Jason Kenney and the UCP in the 2019 provincial election. Alberta Proud spent $117,000 during last year’s provincial election.
“We are deeply concerned to see the so-called ‘war room’ using Alberta tax dollars to essentially promote data collection and fundraising from a partisan third-party advertiser,” said Sabir. “This is clearly unethical behaviour and Albertans need answers on this.
Sabir added the Auditor General seemed like the only logical path, given that the UCP Government has exempted the war room from Freedom of Information legislation.
“We are requesting that the Auditor General conduct an audit of the War Room related to its spending on social media and on advertisements,” continued Sabir. “It is unacceptable that this disgraced UCP creation has now turned to fundraising and campaign for federal and provincial conservatives.”
Sabir will also be writing to Alberta’s Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner in the coming days to request they examine the privacy implications around the war room sponsoring data collection for partisan third parties.