Alberta gov't defends Katz' $300,000 donation to Conservatives
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, October 26, 2012 8:43AM EDT
EDMONTON -- The Alberta government is fending off attacks following the news that billionaire Edmonton Oilers owner Daryl Katz, his relatives and his associates donated $300,000 to the Tories' re-election campaign.
The money from Katz, his wife, mother, father, his executive team and their related companies represented 20 per cent of total donations to the party.
Premier Alison Redford says no matter how much money her party got from Katz, there will be no direct taxpayer subsidy for a new hockey rink.
But opposition politicians aren't buying it.
NDP Leader Brian Mason says, in his words: "Our local billionaire just bought himself a government."
Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith says it's part of the Tory culture of corruption.
Katz, who bought the Oilers in 2008, has become a controversial figure in recent months.
He has demanded to renegotiate a deal with the City of Edmonton to jointly build a $475-million downtown arena for the Oilers.
Even with the deal in place and construction set to begin next spring, both sides had still been looking for an extra $100 million dollars from the province.
Last week the deal fell apart after Katz demanded an extra $210 million dollars from the city.