A news report that RCMP are probing allegations a candidate in the UCP leadership race was illegally funded has led an NDP call for party leader Jason Kenney to “come clean.”
On Friday, the CBC reported Alberta’s Election Commissioner had handed an investigation into alleged funding irregularities to the RCMP because its seriousness transcended his purview.
The report stated letters had been sent by the election commissioner to witnesses in the case, telling them they can expect to be contacted by the RCMP.
It’s been alleged by one-time UCP insider, including former MLA Prab Gill that party operative Jeff Callaway ran as a so-called kamikaze candidate during the 2017 leadership race to undermine Kenney’s main rival, former Wildrose leader Brian Jean.
Those insiders insist Callaway’s campaign was illegally funded by people who pushed money through others who falsely claimed to be the actual donors, which is illegal under Alberta election laws.
Callaway exited the race just before the vote and endorsed Kenney.
On Friday, Alberta Health Minister Sarah Hoffman said it’s time Kenney faced up to the controversy, while also calling him a hypocrite.
“What would Jason Kenney say about all of these issues, if the person being investigated wasn’t Jason Kenney?” she said in a statement.
“He would say that someone being investigated by the RCMP on serious and documented allegations of fraud cannot and should not be Premier. And he’d be right.
“Jason Kenney must come clean with Albertans about the issues he’s ducking – criminal investigations into dark money, fraud, vote theft and an illegal campaign to attack Brian Jean.”
Hoffman was also referring to allegations the Kenney campaign misused a computer voting system to its advantage.
On Friday, Jean expressed his frustration on Twitter and Facebook, claiming he’d warned the UCP and former prime minister Stephen Harper about the kamikaze campaign issue, but to no avail.
“This is what I was afraid of. I wrote to @Jkenney twice about this in last 3 months. Sent Harper a note.” he said on Twitter.
“No one called me back. Nothing was done. People involved in this mess were kept on payroll and remained candidates.”
Kenney has denied all of the allegations.
Last month, the election commissioner fined former Callaway campaign manager Cameron Davies $15,000 for obstructing the investigation, though Davies’ lawyer said he’s appealing the penalty.
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