Alberta government on defensive after donation by Oilers owner

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The political fallout continues in Alberta after it was learned last week that Oilers owner Daryl Katz made a sizable donation to the provincial government’s party in the midst of efforts to build a new publicly funded arena in Edmonton.

The Oilers have requested $100 million from the province for the arena.

On Monday, opposition politicians insisted that Katz’s donation was a clear attempt to buy favors.

“Let me connect some dots,” Wildrose Party leader Danielle Smith said. “Given that a quarter of the government’s election donations are said to be from a single source, and given that source wants $100 million from the government for a hockey arena, and he sits on the board of a Crown corporation that invests $70 billion of assets owned by Albertans, doesn’t anyone in this government have a problem with that?”

The province’s finance minister, Doug Horner, dismissed the accusations, noting that the government has already turned down Katz’s request for arena funds and stands by its decision.