Report: Alberta taxpayers paid $4 million to NHL for 30 second commercial

Jason Kenney and the UCP under fire for mishandling of public funds.


According to a report from the Edmonton based media organization Progress Alberta, the United Conservative Party under premier Jason Kenney paid the NHL $4 million for what essentially amounts to a 30 second commercial on behalf of Tourism Alberta.

Recently disclosed public documents show that the Alberta Government paid the NHL $4 million between July 31st, 2020 and October 1st, 2020 in an effort to “promote investment in Alberta to provincial, national and international audiences through a unique partnership opportunity with the NHL.” 

But no public statement from Premier Jason Kenney or the Alberta government has made mention of the $4 million dollar payment.

According to David Sands, a spokesperson with Communications and Public Engagement, the money went to advertising and marketing in partnership with the NHL during the playoffs, but Sands was unable to provide details on the type of advertising or its frequency.

It appears that all the province of Alberta got for its $4 million investment was this 30 second video from Kenney, played prior to a game between the Vancouver Canucks and Vegas Golden Knights.

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Kenney touts Alberta's low taxes, young population and "freest economy in Canada." He closes by saying, “to hockey fans around the world, we hope you’ll follow the NHL’s lead and come to visit Alberta when you can.” 

Prior to the NHL's decision to hold their playoffs in Edmonton and then during the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Edmonton bubble, there was no public mention from Kenney or the Alberta government that the province had paid a financial cost in order to secure Edmonton as a host city. 

“This is the first opportunity to disclose this information,” said Sands when asked why this substantial payment was never proactively disclosed.

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