Oilers owner Daryl Katz under fire for generous donations to Alberta Tories

Alberta opposition leaders are calling on the province's chief electoral officer to look into Oilers' owner Daryl …

Nearly a third of the Alberta Progressive Conservative's fundraising contributions during their successful election campaign came from billionaire Daryl Katz, owner of the Edmonton Oilers hockey team.

Documents released by Elections Alberta show $300,000 in donations came from Katz and family members as well as his company, Katz Group, and business associates.

Leaders of Alberta's opposition parties say they will demand the province's chief electoral officer investigate the donations, which a Globe and Mail report alleges was paid in a single cheque for $430,000.

That's a smidgen above the $30,000 maximum for individual campaign contributions.

[ Related: Katz donations didn't buy arena promises, Tories say ]

A party member told CBC on Thursday that they did not make any funding promises, despite the sizable donation. But opposition members were disturbed by the payment.

Wildrose Party Leader Danielle Smith, via the Edmonton Journal:

Clearly, getting $430,000, if it is true that it came in the form of one cheque, that's an extremely disturbing allegation.

It does call into question the integrity of the last election if these allegations are true and it is extremely disturbing the government got one quarter of its donations in the last election campaign from a single donor.

Katz is also the head of the Rexall pharmacy chain, which could be affected by decisions the province makes regarding health care.

He's also widely known as the National Hockey League owner who has been playing hardball with the City of Edmonton over a new downtown hockey arena.

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Katz had hinted he would pull his team out of Edmonton if he didn't get a brand new downtown arena with generous support from public funding. The proposal includes a provincial investment of around $100 million.

So, exactly how much influence can be gained for $430,000?

It's worth noting that Katz also donated $7,500 to the Wildrose party during the campaign — a sum that wouldn't even cover the cost of a pair of season's tickets, let alone an arena.

(Photo courtesy CBC)