Edmonton Oilers owner Daryl Katz
Credits: AMBER BRACKEN/QMI AGENCY
Reclusive billionaire Daryl Katz, in documents released to the public Wednesday, donated $30,000 to the party, and so did his wife, Renee; his father, Barry; and his mother, Ida, at $30,000 apiece.
The documents also reveal his executives -- John Karvellas, Paul Marcaccio, Jim Low and Bob Black -- gave almost $150,000 to the Alberta PCs before April's provincial election.
While Katz was essentially snubbed by Redford when the city came looking for a $100-million provincial handout for his dream "iconic" $450-million arena, Redford conceded in the spring that the City of Edmonton could use provincial infrastructure bucks to bridge the design gap.
Talks between the city and the Katz Group, however, are at a standstill.
Meanwhile, the Wildrose Party doubled the PCs in party campaign donations, bringing in $3.1 million compared to $1.6 million.
The Wildrose ended the campaign with a $29,000 surplus, but minus the win forecast by some in the middle of the campaign.
The Alberta PCs, however, posted a $3-million deficit.
Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith said the numbers speak volumes about cultural differences between the two parties.
"We're a party that believes in running balanced budgets, not only on government but also in our own businesses. We look at the party finances as being an indication to the public of how we would run government," she said.
"(The PC) are queuing up to run a massive deficit this year. I think that will just indicate to Albertans who the true fiscally conservative party is," she said.
Three-quarters of the Wildrose money came from individual donors, Smith said, attributing that to a "huge groundswell of grassroots support."
Worth it in light of their new Official Opposition status?
"Absolutely, when you look at what we were able to deliver -- 17 seats, 34% of the vote," she said.
Finance Minister Doug Horner said the election wasn't about campaign donations.
"I say the Albertans voted for this government because of the vision we've made and the plan we've put forward, not how much we spend," he said.
NDP Leader Brian Mason said his party typically goes in the hole at campaign time -- they were $100K under this year, with $517,000 in donations. The Liberals took in just over $122,000. But the PCs spending three times what they took in said something, Mason said.
"They were pretty scared, weren't they? It's obvious that they barely won by skin of their teeth and they threw a huge amount of money at it. Money talks in elections," he said, suggesting a look at campaign finance reform, a move also recommended by Liberal Leader Raj Sherman.