Mayoral candidate calls for end to “illegal” campaign financing

Mayoral candidate J.J. Sunstrum is calling on electoral candidates including incumbent mayor Dave Bronconnier to stop accepting donations from registered charities for election campaigns. “As elected representatives these candidates shouldn’t be diverting money from the needy to the greedy” Sunstrum says.

The Income Tax Act forbids charities from supporting candidates for public office. In 2004 Bronconnier accepted donations from Westside King’s Church ($700) Vertigo Mystery Theatre ($175) the Calgary Catholic Immigration Centre ($350) the Calgary Dream Centre ($350) and the Calgary Science Centre ($400) — all registered charities. Ward 4 Ald. Bob Hawkesworth and Ward 8 Ald. Madeleine King also took donations from registered charities.

Sunstrum is particularly concerned about Westside King’s donation to Bronconnier. In 2003 the city sold a 2.4-hectare piece of land to the church for $445000 a price well below market value. “Tell me that doesn’t reek (to) high heaven” says Sunstrum. Westside King’s also gave $300 to Bronconnier’s campaign in 2001.