You are on page 1of 3

Debra Curcio Lister

Direct Line: 780.429.9763
dcurciolister@millerthomson.com

Adrienne Funk
Direct Line: 780.429.9766
afunk@millerthomson.com

February 3, 2019

Private and Confidential
Delivered via Email

Paula D. Hale and William Shores, Q.C.
Shores Jardine LLP
Suite 2250, Bell Tower
10104 – 103 Avenue
Edmonton, AB T5J 0H8

Attention: Paula D. Hale and William Shores, Q.C.

Dear Sir/Madam:

Re: Late Filing of Nomination Contestant Financial Return for Mr. Stephen Mandel
Inquiry as to the Calculation of the Filing Deadline

As previously advised, we are legal counsel for Mr. Stephen Mandel, the registered official
candidate for the Alberta Party in the Edmonton-McClung electoral district, and his Chief
Financial Officer, Mr. Brian Heidecker. We write to you in your capacity as legal counsel for
Chief Electoral Officer, Mr. Glen Resler (the “CEO”).

We have had the opportunity to review and consider the letter sent by the CEO to Mr.
Heidecker dated January 30, 2019. By that correspondence, the CEO set out his position
that Mr. Mandel’s nomination contestant financial return (the “Return”) was filed late, and
advised Mr. Heidecker of the significant consequences of the late filing for both himself and
Mr. Mandel.

The express premise of the CEO’s January 30, 2019 letter is that the deadline for the filing
of the Return was September 12, 2018. We understand that this date was selected by the
CEO because it fell four months after the date the nomination contest was held (May 12,
2018). Section 43.01(1) of the Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act (the
“EFCDA”) is cited as the basis for this deadline, which states that the Return must be filed
“within 4 months after the conclusion of a nomination contest” (emphasis added).

The question arises as to when a nomination contest is considered “concluded” or at an end
so as to start the running of the four-month deadline to file the post-contest Return.
Page 2

According to the CEO’s letter to Mr. Mandel dated July 13, 2018 (a copy of which is
attached hereto for ease of reference), Mr. Mandel’s nomination campaign period and the
nomination contest he participated in ended on July 12, 2018, being two months after the
selection date. However, the July 13, 2018 letter confusingly goes on to state that the
Return is nonetheless due by September 12, 2018, which is four months after his selection
date, but only two months after the noted conclusion of the nomination contest. If the
nomination contest ended on July 12, 2018, as per paragraph two of the letter, then a plain
reading and application of section 43.01(1) of the EFCDA would suggest that the Return is
actually due by November 12, 2018, which is four months after the nomination contest
conclusion, not September 12, 2018.

This interpretation of the filing deadline accords with the “NOTES” at the bottom of the
“Nomination Contestant Financial Form”, which is the Return in question that Mr. Mandel
allegedly completed late. (A copy of the Return is attached hereto for ease of reference.)
Point number 1 of the NOTES section advises the parties that the financial statement is to
be received “4 months after the conclusion of the nomination contest”. Point number 2 then
explains how the nomination contest period is calculated, and specifically provides that the
nomination contest period ends “two months after the date a person is selected for
endorsement as the official candidate of the party for an electoral district” (emphasis added).
Thus, according to the Return itself, the deadline for its filing is four months after the date
that the nomination contest period concluded or ended, which is two months after Mr.
Mandel was selected as the official candidate.

Based on the foregoing, there is an obvious inconsistency between the CEO’s letters and
the Election Alberta standard Return form as to the proper calculation of the nomination
contest conclusion date and the corresponding Return filing deadline. It appears that the
CEO considers the nomination contest concluded as of May 12, 2018 when the nomination
contest was held and a selection was to be made, and starts the four-month clock running
from this date. Whereas the Elections Alberta official form states that the nomination contest
concluded two months after the selection date, meaning the four-month deadline is
calculated from this later date.

We also wish to bring to your attention at this time a potential discrepancy between the date
the CEO states Mr. Mandel was selected for endorsement as an official candidate by the
Alberta Party, and the date the Alberta Party officially selected and endorsed Mr. Mandel as
a candidate according to their records. The former is May 12, 2018, and the latter is May 23,
2018. According to a screenshot of Mr. Mark Taylor’s (the Executive Director of the Alberta
Party) electronic submission of the Alberta Party’s selection and endorsement of Mr. Mandel
as a candidate following the nomination contest (a copy of which is attached hereto), the
date stamp indicates selection and endorsement of Mr. Mandel occurred on May 23, 2018,
not May 12, 2018.

It is our position that the Official Nomination Contestant Return form, with its “Notes” about
the filing deadline and the calculation of the nomination contest period, sets out the correct
computation of the filing deadline. According to the Return itself, Mr. Mandel had four
months from the conclusion of his nomination contest to file his Return, which is actually six
months from the date of his selection. This deadline also comports with section 43.01 of the
EFCDA, which states that the Return is due within four months of the “conclusion of the

37111350.2
Page 3

nomination contest”, as opposed to four months after the selection of the person for
endorsement as the official candidate.

Whether Mr. Mandel was considered “selected” for endorsement as an official candidate on
May 12, 2018 (according to the CEO’s position) or May 23, 2018 (according to the Alberta
Party’s records), Mr. Mandel complied with the statutory deadline for the filing of his post-
contest Return according to a proper computation of the deadline. More specifically, Mr.
Mandel’s contest closed two months after he was selected, which was either July 12 or 23,
2018 (depending on the correct selection date), and his Return was due four months
thereafter, being either November 12 or 23, 2018. Since his Return was received by the
CEO on September 27, 2018, he met both of the possible filing deadlines of November 12
or November 23, 2018.

In the circumstances, we would expect the CEO to retract and withdraw the January 30,
2019 notice of contravention sent to our clients. Further, we re-iterate our request from
Friday, February 1, 2019 for the CEO to delay the submission of his Report to the Speaker
of the Legislative Assembly as it may be entirely unnecessary given the foregoing. Finally,
we understand that the alleged breach by our clients has already been published as a
statement of fact. We would expect that to be removed from publication immediately.

We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest opportunity.

Yours truly,

MILLER THOMSON LLP

Per:

Debra Curcio Lister & Adrienne Funk
AF/af

Attachments (3)
c. Client

37111350.2