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Alberta Party Leader Stephen Mandel Allowed to Run

Alberta's Court of Queen's Bench has overturned a decision to ban Alberta Party leader Stephen Mandel from running in the spring election.

Alberta's Court of Queen's Bench has overturned a decision to ban Alberta Party leader Stephen Mandel from running in the spring election.

While he does not currently hold a provincial seat, Mandel secured the Alberta Party nomination for Edmonton-McClung in mid-2018. In February, Elections Alberta handed him a five-year ban on running because his chief financial officer Brian Heidecker missed the filing deadline for the nomination's campaign finances.

Mandel filed an appeal of that decision, claiming Heidecker suffered from an illness that prevented him from completing his duties in a timely manner.

Judge Gaylene Kendell ruled in favour of Mandel Monday. She noted in her decision there was an absence of bad faith and listed several mitigating circumstances. She said she took into consideration both the fact Mandel's nomination had been uncontested and the fact he addressed the noncompliance quickly.

"The applicants submit that the benefits of strictly enforcing the return deadline in the circumstances of this case are minimal and drastically outweigh the adverse consequences of strict enforcement, warranting a relaxation of the deadline to file: I agree," she wrote.

Following the court's decision, Mandel said the party can get back to focusing on the things that matter.

"We feel vindicated that the Alberta Court's decision has shown that needless red tape was tying up the election process," he said on his Facebook page.