Alberta premier interviewed by RCMP last month about 2017 UCP leadership race

Premier Jason Kenney was interviewed in early February by the RCMP about allegations of voter fraud in the 2017 United Conservative Party leadership race.

The confirmation came from a spokesperson in the premier’s office hours after Kenney revealed for the first time that he had been questioned by police. 

“Yes, I did an interview … once,” Kenney said Monday in response to a reporter’s question at a news conference. 

“Answered a bunch of questions about the events of 2017… at the end of the day, my campaign did everything it could to carefully follow all of the rules.”

RCMP have been investigating allegations of fraud and identity theft in the contest won by Kenney in October 2017 since 2019. 

Investigators have interviewed several UCP MLAs and at least five members of cabinet including Jobs, Economy and Innovation Minister Doug Schweitzer, who placed third in the 2017 contest. Former Wildrose leader and Fort McMurray-Lac la Biche MLA-elect Brian Jean finished second. 

The RCMP has said little about its ongoing probe only that it is still underway. 

The revelation comes just weeks before a review of Kenney’s leadership of the UCP, which will be done via mail-in ballots, a change that was announced last week. Originally the review was supposed to take place via an in-person, one-day vote in Red Deer on April 9. 

Since then, UCP constituency association presidents and seven MLAs have raised concerns about the change, alleging it could lead to fraudulent activity. 

Irfan Sabir, the NDP opposition MLA for Calgary-Bhullar-McCall, said on Monday that he sent a letter urging the RCMP to add the current leadership review to its ongoing investigation. 

Kenney also responded on Monday to a story by CBC News last week that reported he set conditions for former candidate Jeff Callaway to enter and exit the 2017 leadership race and was in the room for discussions about how the campaign would be funded. 

The story was based on transcripts of interviews with two co-operating witnesses filed in Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench. 

Kenney said he never offered funding to Callaway nor did his campaign provide fundraising assistance. He said an investigation by the chief electoral officer found no one on his campaign broke the law. 

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