Volume 90, Issue 82

Wednesday, February 19, 1997



Running a federal student candidate plan hits bureaucratic snag

By Sara Marett
Gazette Staff

And then there was one – possible candidate that is.

The proposed idea of three Alberta universities entering a student candidate in their provincial election March.11 has changed as two of the schools have pulled out of the race.

The University of Calgary and the University of Lethbridge have both decided to not run a candidate in Alberta's provincial election, but the University of Alberta is still considering the idea.

Calgary had to withdraw from the proposal as a result of a clause in the Elections Finance and Disclosure Act which states a provincial corporation cannot support a candidate. "Government legislation defines our student union as a provincial corporation, so we are therefore prohibited from financially supporting someone," said Sarath Samarasekera, president of Calgary's student union.

He added this includes not allowing a candidate to use any service owned by the student union. "There is no possible way a student has the personal finances to run a campaign on their own."

The University of Lethbridge had decided to not run a candidate because of lack of support from the student body.

Garret Poston, president of Alberta's student union was disappointed the two schools will not be able to participate. "It was our goal to have support from the three universities in order to have a well-developed platform and receive more coverage and attention from the media," Poston said.

Poston said if U of A decides to run a candidate, someone will be elected by the students. The chosen person will have to demonstrate their dedication to educational issues. "In my opinion, so far none of the potential candidates have shown enough commitment to educational concerns in their platform," he said. "The Liberal party has just announced their platform which involves a proposed idea entitled Education For a Better Future, which contains what most platforms do – a lot of fluff."

Poston said an elected candidate would be funded externally by local businesses and residents.

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Copyright The Gazette 1997