11/26/2012 10:33 EST | Updated 01/26/2013 05:12 EST

Wildrose wants end to corporate and union donations

The Wildrose Party wants Alberta's election financing laws to prohibit political parties from accepting donations from unions and corporations.

Party leader Danielle Smith admits that the change would deprive her own party of hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations. If such rules were in place in the last election, Wildrose would have had to turn away $870,000.

"We're not proposing this lightly," Smith said.

"We do know that it would have an impact on our fundraising but we think having a level playing field, everyone playing by the same rules and taking out the influence of corporate and union donations ... is something every party should commit to."

Last week, the province introduced the Election Acccountability Amendment Act, which includes changes that would compel political parties and leadership candidates to disclose a larger number of donors.

However, opposition parties believe the changes don't go far enough.

Tired of insinuations, cabinet minister says

Progressive Conservative House Leader Dave Hancock isn't sure why a ban on corporate and union donations is needed, as long as the process is open and transparent.

"I, for one, do not like the continuing insinuation that people who make campaign contributions buy themselves some favour," he said.

"They do not. It doesn't matter who the campaign donation comes from. It comes from people who are interested in the process."

Smith would also like to see the maximum annual individual contribution be lowered from $30,000 to $10,000.

The proposed changes are being debated at the Alberta legislature.