Posted on Oct 23, 2020


EDMONTON - The UCP took advantage of a loophole to collect the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, a program intended for struggling small businesses, not political parties.  

According to the schedule released by the UCP, tomorrow at 10:15am the UCP will release their Financial Report to their members which will be followed by a Q&A.

“Businesses and families struggling under the economic impacts of the pandemic were forced to watch the UCP help themselves to the money that was meant to help Albertans,” said Heather Sweet, NDP Democracy and Ethics Critic.

The UCP exploited a loophole in order to qualify for the program. According to the Government of Canada website, organizations must “see a drop of at least 15% of their qualifying revenue in March 2020 and 30% for the following months of April and May, when compared to their qualifying revenue for the same period in 2019” to meet program eligibility requirements.

The financial period used for comparison by the UCP was during the 2019 provincial election, a time when political parties typically exceed normal fundraising totals.

In the Legislature, Jason Kenney defended the UCP’s use of the wage subsidy. This puts him at odds with Conservative Party of Canada Leader Erin O’Toole who campaigned against political parties being eligible to receive the wage subsidy in his leadership campaign.

“Jason Kenney endorsed and campaigned for Erin O’Toole who committed to having the Conservative Party of Canada pay back the wage subsidy,” said Sweet. “Jason Kenney owes taxpayers a check for every cent of emergency support the UCP undeservedly and shamelessly took.”

Following the release of party financials, Jason Kenney will address UCP members attending the AGM.

“Jason Kenney needs to do what’s right and give the money back,” Sweet said. “I can only hope that Jason Kenney will finally be able to explain why the UCP gave a profitable corporation $4.7 billion dollars with their corporate handout, and then took emergency support to bail out their party all while telling Alberta families and businesses to expect a fiscal reckoning. Will he address this hypocrisy or continue to embrace it? We shall see tomorrow.”