Independent MP complains to RCMP about Kenney staff correspondence with private company


Independent MP Todd Loewen says he spoke to the Alberta RCMP about his allegations that a senior official in the Prime Minister’s Office broke the law by seeking political support from an unnamed Alberta company.

Loewen, who was kicked out of the United Conservative Caucus in May 2021 for openly challenging Prime Minister Jason Kenney’s leadership, bases his claims on a description in a November 2021 column by Calgary Herald writer Don Braid.

“I look forward to the police investigating thoroughly and uncovering the truth,” Loewen said Tuesday when speaking with reporters at the Legislative Assembly.

The RCMP confirmed that Loewen’s complaint had been received, but would not say whether an investigation had been opened. A spokesperson said all complaints to the RCMP are being investigated.

A spokesperson for Kenney said Tuesday that the RCMP did not contact anyone in the Prime Minister’s Office, and provided no further comment.

In the November column, Braid writes about an email an Alberta company executive sent to co-workers, saying an official in the premier’s office asked the executive to round up existing members. and new to attend the annual general meeting of the United Conservative Party held in November. 19-21 and participate in the vote of the Board of Directors.

According to Braid, the email went on to state that by providing the requested support to Kenney, the company could then “leverage it for further meaningful dialogues with his cabinet.”

Loewen said he didn’t know which company Braid was writing about, but he says he’s heard rumors that other Alberta companies have been approached in the same way.

In a letter Loewen sent to the Alberta RCMP in February, Loewen says the request could violate sections 121-1-C and 121-1-D of the Criminal Code if the anonymous company does business with the government. provincial.

121-C prohibits government officials and personnel from demanding, accepting, offering or accepting a benefit of any kind from a person who has dealings with the government, unless they do not have the consent of the head of the branch of government to which they are affiliated with.

121-1-D prohibits anyone who has or claims to have influence with the government from demanding or accepting a benefit in exchange for influence.

Upcoming management review

Loewen’s allegations come as Kenney prepares for a leadership review to be held at a special general meeting in Red Deer, Alta., on April 9.

Asked about the delay in going public with his allegations until this week, Loewen said the start of the legislative session allowed him to ask his questions to the UCP in the chamber, and said the leader of Prime Minister’s Office had recently taken temporary leave. absence to work on Kenney’s leadership campaign may be “related”.

When Loewen raised the issue in the Legislature on Monday, Government House Leader Jason Nixon called Loewen’s allegations “high school games” and said the chief of staff’s leave to work on the campaign was a normal process.

Nixon pointed to Loewen’s recent presence at political meetings ahead of the leadership review. Loewen said Tuesday he attended a few meetings and spoke one-on-one with many people, encouraging them to vote on April 9 if they were unhappy with Kenney’s leadership.

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