Elections Alberta ordered Ward 13 Coun. Dan McLean to pay an administrative fine for a violation of the election law.
Chief Electoral Officer and Electoral Commissioner Glen Resler found that McLean had breached section 147.2(5) of the Local Government Electoral Act.
That section says that no candidate can receive an election contribution if it comes from “a prohibited organization or an individual ordinarily resident outside Alberta.”
The violation was listed on Elections Alberta’s website Wednesday afternoon. It said McLean received “several prohibited contributions for a campaign event” and listed the fine amount at $500.
A spokesperson for Elections Alberta said they could not provide further details.
McLean said he accepted several donations from local businesses for a Stampede breakfast giveaway he held on July 10, 2021 at the Cardel Rec Center.
“It says in the report that my actions are unintentional, maybe a misinterpretation of the in-kind donations, because it was again someone who donated a dog bed at a pet store, and then I gave it away at my breakfast.”
McLean said there was no ill intent on his part, and he described it as a “minor misinterpretation” of the act.
The councilor provided the letter he received from Resler with the investigation findings to Postmedia. In it, Resler said businesses donated prizes with the understanding that they were for a community event, and not as a political contribution.
However, he also found the Stampede breakfast to be a campaign event, and this was acknowledged by McLean’s campaign manager, Patrick Poilievre.
Resler applied a 10 percent increase to the $500 fine because McLean accepted the contributions for a campaign event and promoted himself at the event.
However, he also applied a 10 per cent discount because McLean was “cooperative and forthcoming during the investigation,” and because he admitted afterward that he should have sought advice from Elections Alberta.
McLean has until January 20, 2023 to pay the fine.