Alberta Tory ridings transferred money to secure Fort Mac in 2014 byelection after EDA lacked funds
The Conservative stronghold of Fort McMurray-Athabasca relied on transfers from other Alberta ridings to fund a surprisingly close byelection win last year after the riding association posted a loss of more than $36,600 in 2013.
The traditionally safe Alberta riding was considered “vulnerable” heading into the 2014 byelection, an email from an Alberta riding association president to board members said, leading party brass to call on neighbouring associations to chip in.
Conservative candidate David Yurdiga won the riding for the Conservatives in the June 30, 2014 byelection but the result was much closer than in previous elections. Mr. Yurdiga received 46.7 per cent of the vote, but the Liberals surged behind candidate Kyle Harrietha, winning 35.3 per cent.
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But the combination of a Liberal push and a surprising lack of resources at the Conservative riding association had the incumbent party worried last year in one of its strongholds.
A number of ridings in Calgary and elsewhere in the province sent money to the electoral district association to help fund the campaign. The email from an Alberta EDA president obtained by The Hill Times said that other associations in the province were granting or loaning between $3,000 and $5,000 for the campaign.
A June 2014 report from Marilyn Elliott, the Alberta representative on the Conservative Party national council at the time, noted the party’s efforts to help out in the byelection.
“We have had a very challenging time in collecting enough funds from Alberta EDA’s to help finance the Fort McMurray Athabasca byelection and I must extend my gratitude to Calgary Rocky Ridge for their generous support of FMA with the $5,000 loan,” the report said.