EDMONTON - The leader of the Alberta Party and five other party candidates for the upcoming provincial election have been deemed ineligible to run by Elections Alberta.
In a statement, Mandel says he was informed by Elections Alberta this week that he did not file all of his required financial paperwork on time.
A candidate in the constituency of Edmonton-McClung, Mandel won the party leadership last year and says they'll be asking the Court of Queen's Bench to overturn the bans.
“First and foremost, we respect the decision of Elections Alberta, and getting financial paperwork in on time is important,” says Mandel.
“The penalties for late filing are serious, and I and some of our candidates are currently facing a five-year suspension from being able to run for public office. While this is concerning, we also believe there is confusion about the actual due dates this paperwork is due to Elections Alberta."
Mandel explains that based on the party's interpretation of a July 2018 letter received from Elections Alberta, they believe they filed by the required deadline.
“We hope our efforts will clarify the rules, which will benefit all candidates – as well as the democratic process," he says. "We don’t want to see good candidates discouraged from running because they aren’t sure about the rules.”
Meanwhile, Mandel's legal team is pointing out the apparent discrepancy which could have caused the confusion.
The letter from Miller Thompson LLP states that while the premise of the penalty is that Mandel should have had his paperwork in by September 12, 2018, it was actually not due until November 12.
According to a letter to Mandel from Elections Alberta, his paperwork was due four months after the nomination contest was held on May 12. However, Mandel's team argues it should be four months after the nomination contest 'concluded,' which they say was July 12, making Mandel's September 27-submitted papers valid.
"There is an obvious inconsistency between the CEO’s letters and the Election Alberta standard Return form as to the proper calculation of the nomination contest conclusion date and the corresponding Return filing deadline," the letter from Miller Thompson LLP reads.
The other candidates deemed ineligible were set to run in either Edmonton or Calgary.
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