Calgary & District New Democrat House Society
The Calgary & District New Democrat House Society is a registered Alberta non-profit society created in 1998 by members of the Alberta NDP.
2.1 without borrowing funds, to acquire lands within Calgary by purchasing or otherwise , erect or otherwise provide a building or buildings to be called Calgary & District New Democrat House Society;
2.2 to provide a meeting place for social and community purposes and for the consideration and discussion of questions affecting the community;
2.3 to procure the delivery of lectures on social, educational, political, economic and other subjects and to give and arrange musical and dramatic entertainments;
2.4 to establish and maintain a reading room;
2.5 to provide all necessary equipment and furniture for carrying on its various objects;
2.6 to provide a centre and suitable business place for the various activities of its members;
2.7 generally encourage, foster and develop among its members, a recognition of the importance of supporting worthy community interests and social well-being;
2.8 To sell, manage lease, mortgage, dispose of or otherwise deal with the property of the society.
According to the bylaws of the Society membership was automatically and exclusively granted to card-carrying members of the Alberta NDP. The NDP Party President and Treasurer were given the position of Director and five party members who "reside in the Calgary region" - elected at a meeting concurrent with the Alberta NDP AGM - also became board members. Auditing of the society's financials was to be done annually by three members of the Alberta NDP Audit Committee.
In 1999 both the objectives and bylaws of the society were changed to allow for borrowing. Subsequently, Bay 321 in NE Calgary's Interpacific Business Park was purchased by the society for $151,750 (Alberta Land Titles Number 991 049 798). An undisclosed amount was borrowed from the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and an Edmonton based law firm helped close the deal. (also see 991 049 798).
At an unknown date, Bay 321 became the permanent offices of both the Alberta NDP and the Calgary & District Labour Council, a Canadian Labour Congress affiliate and registered lobby group, and the official address for the Labour Council's own non-profit society, the Calgary Labour Action Solidarity Society.
In June 2011, the Calgary & District New Democrat House Society made a major change to their bylaws granting the society the authority to... "borrow funds and specifically in furtherance of object 2.8 to guarantee the debts of the Alberta New Democratic Party with the property of the Society". In reality the society had already been acting as guarantor of the Alberta NDP's debts since at least 2004. The House Society guarantee has been a factor in the Alberta NDP's ability to maintain an ongoing $400 000 line of credit.
The only major identified asset of the House Society consists of Bay 321 in Calgary's Interpacific Mall, a commercial condominium complex. The Society's auditors promote a current valuation of the unit at $142,100. The City of Calgary tax assessment of the property for 2016 was $490000 reduced to $458500 in 2017.
The role of New Democrat House was question by Wildrose Democracy and Accountability critic Jason Nixon in the Alberta Legislature on December 8th 2016. Based on the shared directors and membership Mr. Nixon described the House Society as a "shadow party" for the Alberta NDP and questioned what role it might play in NDP finances. Mr. Nixon subsequently sent a letter to the Ethics Commissioner asking that department look into the legitimacy of the vote on his amendment to Bill 35 - based on the President of the House Society being the husband of Brandy Payne, MLA for Calgary-Acadia. Mr. Nixon also contacted the office of the Chief Electoral Officer asking for clarification of the role of the House Society.
On December 16th 2016 Alberta Party Leader Greg Clark also sent a letter to the office of the Ethics Commissioner inquiring into the legitimacy of the House Society, the Alberta NDP and Calgary & District Labour Council sharing common offices.
Christopher McMillan (Director)
Anne Wilson (Director)
Siobhan Vipond (Director)
O'Halloran Christopher (Director)
Flora Stupich (Treasurer)
Holly Heffernan (Secretary)
Scott Payne (President)
Street Address: 321, 3132 26 Street NE, Calgary, AB T1Y 6Z1