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Out-of-Alberta prosecutor sought to advise on UCP leadership investigation

EDMONTON — A prosecutor from outside Alberta is being sought to advise police investigating irregularities in the United Conservative Party leadership race.

The RCMP is looking into whether voter fraud was committed in 2017 when the party picked its leader, now-Premier Jason Kenney. 

Kenney decisively beat Doug Schweitzer, now his justice minister, and former Wildrose Party leader Brian Jean in the UCP leadership contest.

Allegations have been raised that email addresses were fraudulently attached to party memberships to cast ballots.

Sarah Langley, acting head of the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service, says the out-of-province prosecutor will be responsible for providing advice to police at their request, but won’t oversee the investigation.

She says the move is based on recent information.

“The Alberta Crown Prosecution Service has closely monitored this matter to ensure the file is appropriately managed,” Langley said in a statement Thursday.

“As independent prosecutors, our role includes continually reassessing matters based on the latest information we have available.”

Alberta’s elections commissioner is also reviewing the UCP leadership contest and has levelled fines over illegal funding for Calgary businessman Jeff Callaway, who was also a candidate before he dropped out and threw his support behind Kenney.

Kenney has faced — and rejected — allegations that Callaway was a puppet who entered the race on Kenney’s behalf solely to attack Jean while Kenney stayed above the fray.