Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Had Been Banned: Judge Rules Alberta Party Leader Can Run in Next Election

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Had Been Banned: Judge Rules Alberta Party Leader Can Run in Next Election

Article excerpt

Alberta Party leader can run in spring election

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EDMONTON - Alberta Party Leader Stephen Mandel is again free to run as a candidate in the province's spring election.

Elections Alberta notified Mandel a month ago that he was banned from running for five years because he had missed a deadline to file nomination expenses when he ran to become his party's candidate in Edmonton McClung.

Mandel took the matter to court.

A Court of Queen's Bench judge ruled late Monday that Mandel had a reasonable excuse for missing the deadline last year because his chief financial officer took ill.

Justice Gaylene Kendell says in a written decision that Mandel's team acted in good faith.

She also says the delay was not long and the nomination was uncontested.

"The applicants submit that the benefits of strictly enforcing the return deadline in the circumstances of this case are minimal, and drastically outweigh the adverse consequences of strict enforcement, warranting a relaxation of the deadline to file: I agree," said the judge.

Mandel responded to the decision on social media.

"We feel vindicated that the Alberta Court's decision has shown that needless red tape was tying up the election process. Now we can focus on what really matters, working towards a prosperous Alberta!" he tweeted.

Six other Alberta Party candidates were also given five-year bans for late filing, but five of them have since been reinstated through the courts.

Time was of the essence for Mandel and the other candidates as the three-month spring election window, as set down in legislation, is now open. Premier Rachel Notley is free to drop the writ any time between now and early May.

Voters have to go to the polls no later than May 31.

This is also a critical election for the Alberta Party, which is making a concerted effort this time around to escape the fringes of the political landscape. …

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