After the election of the United Conservative Party, I referred to Jason Nixon being appointed to Minister of Environment and Parks as Jason Kenney’s greatest troll. I can admit when I might have been wrong. There’s no proof yet so this is all conjecture, but…
The Minister of Justice and Attorney General is a key witness in an RCMP investigation into voter fraud. Oh, no worries, he’s not a suspect. The Premier of Alberta, or his staff, or his volunteers are suspects.
Doug Schweitzer is the kind of person who could accurately be referred to as a political insider. He has been involved in politics for a number of years, in more than one province. He’s one of those guys who knows who is in the know.
He helped run a PC race in Manitoba at one point. He helped out on Jim Prentice’s campaign for PC leader.
Back in 2016, Schweitzer toyed with the idea of running for leader of the Progressive Conservative Party. He thought the Party needed some new blood and could benefit from a genuine attempt at renewal. There are mixed reviews from those who knew him.
One person told me he was not a progressive conservative under any possible definition. Another said he was gracious and truly wants to be inclusive. Two sides; both from women, by the way.
Schweitzer dropped out of the PC leadership race citing concerns with the selection processes but there were rumours that pointed to other possibilities; his resignation email leaves a lot to be desired. It basically says a lot about something he doesn’t appear to want to specifically talk about.
He then ended up as a scrutineer for another PC leadership contestant; Jason Kenney. It’s just one of those things, really; everyone knows everyone in the small circles of those who are politically engaged and involved. So, that’s not really something that gets the internal wheels rolling in gossip. Jason Kenney won the PC leadership and that was that. No one was talking about Schweitzer.
But then he showed up as a UCP leadership candidate, touting his “New Blue” slogan once again. I followed Kenney. I reported on Kenney and Jean. Neither Callaway or Schweitzer even barely registered. No offence meant but neither of them were serious contenders, in my opinion. Unfortunate though because now I have to search for information rather than fall back on my previous research…. moving on.
Schweitzer and Jean both raised concerns with the UCP regarding the voting process during the UCP leadership race. Laughably, Schweitzer claimed he thought it would be a “close race”.
Kenney won with a 61% majority, followed by Brian Jean with 31%, and Schweitzer rounded it all up with a bare 7% of the vote. The “New Blue” was resoundingly rejected by UCP voters.
But the United Conservative Party needed a “New Blue” kind of guy to cut the head off of the Alberta Party. So, Schweitzer found himself rather in demand for such a task.
After the ballots were counted on April 16, 2019, Schweitzer found himself elected to represent the people of Calgary Elbow, replacing Alberta Party MLA, and former leader, Greg Clark. Schweitzer was subsequently awarded the role of Minister of Justice and Attorney General.
Now back to the RCMP investigation.
Back in 2018, an anonymous complaint was received regarding potential voter fraud in the UCP leadership race. The RCMP was investigating the claims in 2019 according to sources and the mainstream media.
This is an ongoing investigation and due to that, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General says he cannot speak to the investigation.
Be that as it may, Schweitzer announced in question period Monday (pg 13) that he had been interviewed by the RCMP last week with regard to the UCP leadership race.
Herein lies the problem.
My follow-up question was whether he was interviewed as a potential witness or the Minister of Justice and Attorney General. I should have included whether he was interviewed as a complainant. Schweitzer offered no indication at the time but clarified during Tuesday’s question period that he was interviewed as a private citizen and that he was not, himself, a suspect. Yay, again.
Except that it is his department which may be responsible for prosecuting a charge of voter fraud against Schweitzer’s political Party and, potentially, the leader of Schweitzer’s Party, Jason Kenney, who appointed him to be Justice Minister and Attorney General.
The Official Opposition has been hounding the government on this matter, and it has been highly entertaining, but Rachel Notley, Leader of the Opposition, brings up some very, very, good points.
Can Schweitzer be counted upon to be objective in this matter?
Can Schweitzer, in his role, be relied upon to be free from undue influence in this matter?
I guess you just have to wonder what UCP supporters or MLAs would say if the situation were reversed.
Perhaps if they can say Justin Trudeau and Jody Wilson-Raybould three times while turning around… anyone?
This post contains a lot of fact and some damned good questions.
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Twitter: @Mitchell_AB for all the commentary, @thisweekinAB for posts