"There will be no direct provincial government funding to any professional sports arena, and that position has not changed (since I've been leader) in the past 18 months," Redford told the house Thursday.
Redford was under attack after Elections Alberta released on Wednesday the breakdowns of campaign spending in the April 23 vote that saw Redford's Tories win majority government.
The documents showed that Katz, his wife, mother, father, his executive team and their related companies donated a total of $300,000 to the Tories during the campaign. That represents about 20 per cent of the total donations to the party.
Other media reports cite sources saying the figure is as high as $430,000 and that Katz delivered the money in one six-figure cheque to the Tories in the late stages of the campaign.
The maximum any one person or group can contribute to any party is $30,000.
It was a day of high-decibel verbal fireworks and desktop-pounding during question period, featuring accusations of law-breaking, coverups, conspiracy theories and references to Katz's pets.
"Given that under this government's rules, Mr. Katz, his wife, his mother, his father, his company, maybe his dog, his goldfish and the neighbour's cat seem to have donated to the PC party in this past election," began NDP critic Rachel Notley.
"And given that Mr. Katz stands to receive a 20,000 per cent return on this investment, will the minister admit that in doing nothing to fix these loopholes, Albertans can be forgiven for concluding that Denmark is not the only place where something is rotten?" she concluded, referring to a line from Shakespeare's "Hamlet."
It was the highlight shot in an cross-aisle enfilade of insults.
"Our local billionaire just bought himself a government!" thundered NDP Leader Brian Mason.
"We have seen this government time and time again dodge, hide, obscure, bury and avoid the truth. Some call it a culture of corruption," Wildrose party Leader Danielle Smith fired at Redford.
"We know (the Tories) are not reliable to investigate themselves, so now with another huge ethical scandal brewing, can we be sure that we are going to get the truth this time?"
Redford stood and shot back: "It is not the job of the government of Alberta to investigate itself. It is the job of the chief electoral officer.
"And frankly, I take exception to the fact that there would be any suggestion in this house that any minister, including myself, would do anything to quash a prosecution. That is offensive and rude."
Perception is reality, charged Wildrose house leader Rob Anderson.
"How can this premier assure Albertans her government hasn't been bought and paid for by the highest bidder?" he demanded.
That's just more fantasy from the "Wild Alliance," replied Finance Minister Doug Horner.
"I love conspiracy theory books myself, but this one takes the cake," he said.
How do Albertans know that Katz, the Rexall pharmacy magnate, isn't also getting sweetheart treatment on drug issues? challenged Smith.
"We've moved from offensive to repulsive," said Health Minister Fred Horne.
"No one particular provider receives special treatment," he said.
The Tories ran behind the Wildrose party in polling for much of the spring campaign but won 61 seats to 17 for the Wildrose on election day.
The parties themselves collect donation money, then send receipts and totals to Elections Alberta, said Elections spokesman Drew Westwater.
The parties are responsible for making sure that even if multiple donations come in on one cheque, that no single person or group contributed over the $30,000 limit.
"We don't get the cheques," said Westwater.
"We get receipts that are issued for the contributions made to the parties. We have no way of knowing how they received the money, whether it was cash or four cheques or 10 cheques or one cheque. That's the party's responsibility."
But he said if Chief Electoral officer Brian Fjeldheim gets a complaint, he can investigate and has the power to compel documentation and issue fines for malfeasance.
Both Redford and PC Party spokesman Kelley Charlebois confirmed the party has already contacted Elections Alberta to offer to assist if there are any concerns.
Charlebois declined to give specifics on how much Katz or his associates contributed or say how the money came in. But he said the party has the documents to prove that all rules were followed.
"We have the audited financial statements that show, as per the law, that donations were made appropriately (and) that we're able to allocate all donations that we received to tax receipts," said Charlebois.
Katz, who bought the Oilers in 2008, has become a prominent and controversial figure in recent months over his demands to renegotiate a deal with city council 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 from the province.
A Katz spokesman declined to comment.
Redford has consistently rejected that, but the province has said if city councillors want to use provincial infrastructure grants toward the arena, that is up to them.
It may all be moot.
The arena deal fell apart last week after Katz demanded an extra $210 million from the city. Katz also demanded the city get him a casino licence from the province and break its own tendering rules by moving city staff into a proposed Katz office tower beside the new rink.
When Katz refused to meet with city council in public last week to explain why he needed to change the deal, Mayor Stephen Mandel and the councillors voted unanimously to walk away from the table and explore other options, such as having taxpayers build and run the rink.
Katz, a self-described publicity shy person, has not responded to the deal collapsing except to issue a two-line news release saying he's weighing his options.
Katz recently took a trip to Seattle to investigate arena options there.Suggest a correction