Minister of Justice Must Recuse Over RCMP Probe Into UCP Voter Fraud



CBC reporting on May 3 the Kenney controlled UCP government rejected the NDP suggestion that an outside prosecutor be appointed to oversee the RCMP investigations into alleged voter fraud and illegal campaign contributions in the UCP Leadership Selection process that *Premier Kenney “won.”  Notley said it’s “an unprecedented situation that you have an active police investigation into something that touches on interests and the conduct of both the Premier and Attorney General.”

Is the Honourable Doug Schweitzer, *Premier Kenney’s newly minted Minister of Justice, risking becoming an Alberta version of Jeff Sessions or William Barr, or is he a better man who respects the Rule of Law?  I say the latter.

He’s not really a Sessions or Barr, but he could be seen as such, if he doesn’t recuse himself from the RCMP Criminal Investigations into allegations of Voter Fraud in the UCP leadership process.

He was a contestant in the UCP leadership process, that Premier Kenney, now his Boss, won. During the leadership, he and Brian Jean, went on record with the Party, warning about the risk of serious process concerns and abuses within the UCP internet voting process that would undermine the integrity of the Party, and perhaps the legitimacy of the outcome?  The Party did nothing and officially say their leadership process was rigorous and independently audited with no irregularities found.  Seems now not to be an accurate statement. given the RCMP is investigating for criminal activity around voter fraud.

Under these circumstances there is no way the Minister can be involved in any aspect of the RCMP Investigations on these fraud allegations around the UCP leadership and an MLA election file. How can he be seen as independent on any matters including decisions on potential prosecutions?

If he stays involved he only has bad options, wrong choices and terrible outcomes. If he’s seen as sweeping away any serious findings of wrong-doing by the RCMP that requires potential prosecution of a sitting UCP MLA and/or other party operatives in the Kamikaze campaign, and/or the fake email voter fraud matters, the backlash would be so harsh that  he would have to resign, and perhaps not just from Cabinet.  That diversion off the *Premier’s agenda would be a serious setback.

If he were to take legal action on any prosecution recommendations by the RCMP, the UCP party Base, and many in Caucus too, would go after him as a poor loser or worse.  The Trump-like loyalty of the Base to Kenney, because of his impressive election win, and their desire for power, might override any concern about the Rule of Law.  The Base is likely to take revenge and engage in virulent personal attacks on the Minister. 

This would do nothing to increase investor confidence in Alberta or advance the UCP government agenda.  The sooner Minister Schweitzer recuses himself and appoints some one outside the province to take it over the better.  As for who, it can’t be Ontario or some other conservative government province to be credible. Quebec and BC are out of the question.  Newfoundland has an election May 16, PEI hasn’t the capacity and a new government just elected, so that leave the Liberal government in Nova Scotia or the Government of Canada.  I expect the files would be turned over to the Federal Department of Justice, given we are dealing with criminal matters

It is pretty astonishing this wasn’t all taken into consideration by Kenney, or his brain trust, before making the appointment.

Democracy watchdog raises concerns over potential conflict for Alberta’s new justice minister

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