It may seem like an ironic move, considering the political climate between B.C. and Alberta, but West Coast Liberals are mining oil rich Calgary for donations with which to bolster their beleaguered party's war chest.
B.C. Energy Minister Rich Coleman and Community Minister Bill Bennett attended a $125-per ticket fundraiser in Calgary on Thursday, as a way of raising funds for Columbia River-Revelstoke Liberal candidate Doug Clovechok, the Calgary-born manager of the Invermere campus of the College of the Rockies, just on the other side of the Alberta/B.C. border, the Globe and Mail reports.
Mike McDonald, the B.C. Liberal campaign director, told the Globe and Mail “it’s tough raising money. You raise it where you think you can find it.”
Organizers of the event included Reform Party insider Morten Paulsen, oil man and Calgary Flames co-owner Murray Edwards, and Rod Love, former Alberta premier Ralph Klein's chief of staff.
“If your company or organization does business in British Columbia, (or perhaps if you or your family own property in B.C.), you should be concerned about the risks posed by the election of a New Democratic Party government in the upcoming election in May of 2013,” said an invite to the event, which Global News says was authored by the three organizers.
“Alberta’s fortunes are inextricably linked to those of British Columbia,” adds the invite.
The event comes just as Alberta and B.C. find themselves embroiled in a war of words over Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway pipeline.
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B.C. Premier Christy Clark has threatened to halt the project if B.C. doesn't 't get what she calls its "fair share," of economic benefits from the project, citing it's her province that will shoulder most of the risk.
But Alberta Premier Alison Redford has strongly maintained that Alberta will not share royalties with another province.
The inter-provincial spat reached a fever pitch last summer and neither side has moved on their stance.
But Love told the Calgary Herald it's all been just a political hiccup and that it's in Alberta's own interest to ensure B.C. does not fall to the NDP, which is leading in the polls.
“They’re not going to come out here and say ‘everything was sweetness and light, what’s the problem?’ They’re going to say, ‘look, the transition from Campbell to Clark was messy and we acknowledge that. But there’s a new crew in place and we’re turning this thing around,” Love told the Herald.
“We hope to create an opportunity for the B.C. Liberals, who have former friends in Alberta, to redeem and repair ... frayed relations,” he said.