Alberta United Conservatives to reimburse taxpayers $7,200 for Calgary banquet

The Alberta legislature on Saturday, June 9, 2018. Emily Mertz, Global News

Alberta’s United Conservatives say they will pay back just over $7,200 after taxpayers were charged for a what turned out to be a party event.

The money was for a Calgary banquet in February where United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney urged those in the room to run for the party.

On social media, Kenney called the event a “wonderful evening with UCP supporters.”

The event was later billed to taxpayers by former United Conservative MLA Prab Gill, but house rules make it clear that public money can’t be used for partisan political activities.

READ MORE: Jason Kenney calls allegations against UCP MLA ‘serious,’ doesn’t deny they involve ballot-stuffing

The United Conservatives say in a statement that an error was made and that it will ensure the $7,245 is repaid.

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“Having looked into the matter further, I can add that no fundraising occurred, no party memberships were sold, and no partisan material was distributed,” said Christine Myatt, on behalf of the UCP Caucus.

“But partisan speeches were given, so it was an error for the event to be covered by Mr. Gill’s MLA budget. The United Conservative Party will immediately reimburse the Legislative Assembly Office for the cost of the event.”

READ MORE: Prab Gill quits UCP caucus after party receives report into constituency meeting

Gill quit the United Conservative caucus to sit as an Independent this past weekend following an investigation into ballot-stuffing at a Calgary riding where he was seeking a nomination.

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