UCP confirms it is in contact with RCMP over leadership voter fraud allegations

Alberta’s United Conservative Party says it is helping the RCMP investigate voter fraud allegations tied to the party’s 2017 leadership race. 

“Happy Mann and Prab Gill have been spreading outright lies for months about the 2017 UCP Leadership Contest. Upon hearing that these lies were referred to the RCMP, we wrote to the RCMP to offer assistance in dispelling these lies once and for all,” wrote UCP executive director Janice Harrington in a statement originally published by Maclean’s. 

“The RCMP have acknowledged receipt of our letter and have taken us up on our offer of assistance. The party is in the process of compiling and sharing information with the RCMP that demonstrates the integrity of the UCP leadership race, and that Happy Mann and Prab Gill are nothing more than disgraced and discredited individuals who should be treated as such.”

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‘Left with fines, charges and shame’: Calgary political insider alleges voter fraud in UCP leadership campaign

Originally published March 27, 2019.

Alberta’s election commissioner has ruled that Hardyal Mann made irregular political contributions, and the Calgary political operative alleges the existence of a plan to commit voter fraud in order to secure the election of Jason Kenney as United Conservative Party leader — a controversy that’s erupting in the midst of a provincial election.

Hardyal (Happy) Mann does not dispute the commissioner’s finding in relation to irregular donations. But he says in a March 24 formal response to the commissioner obtained by CBC News that he “trusted Mr. Jason Kenney, his campaign team, and their judgment” and that he never thought they would “risk breaking any laws.”

“Mr. Kenney and his associates, who were equal participants, will assume high elected seats in our government,” he wrote.

“However, those of us who did the work for them are left with fines, charges and shame. That is not fair.”

The controversy is erupting in the midst of a provincial election, with Albertans set to vote on April 16, and Kenney’s UCP leading by a wide margin in recent polls.

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Optimism and anger as Albertans react to pipelines

 

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Industry in Alberta was quick to celebrate the federal government’s approval of the Trans Mountain and Line 3 pipelines on Tuesday, but opponents vow to delay or kill the projects by any means possible.

“I think that Canada’s reputation as a place that can move projects forward took a step forward today,” said Tim McMillan, the president and CEO of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

McMillan said this was a positive move toward reducing the price differential for Canadian oil. Producers face sometimes steep discounts on the price they receive for a barrel of oil in the U.S. compared with world prices.

With the ability to send more oil to Pacific markets, and increased capacity on a rebuilt Line 3 pipeline to the U.S., Canada’s oil and gas companies should be able to get a better price.

University of Calgary economist Trevor Tombe said that without new pipelines, the National Energy Board predicted a shortfall of $10 per barrel.

“That adds up to over $10 billion a year in forgone revenue for producers,” he said.

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Alberta MLA Sandra Jansen latest in long string of female politicians to face abuse

 

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Credit: CBC

Alberta MLA Sandra Jansen isn’t the first female politician to look at a screen and see words like “bitch” and “bimbo” and “dumb broad” staring back at her.

Jansen, who recently crossed the floor from her longtime home in the Progressive Conservative party to the ruling NDP, stood up in the Alberta legislature Tuesday and read aloud some of the comments she’s received since changing parties.

“Sandra should stay in the kitchen where she belongs.”

“What a traitorous bitch.”

“Now you have two blond bimbos in a party that is clueless.”

“Dumb broad, a good place for her to be is with the rest of the queers.”

It was a remarkable break from parliamentary language and, at least in the heat of the moment, had its desired effect — MLAs from all parties took to their feet in applause.

It also presaged an announcement that Jansen — who left the PCs over what she said was bullying and harassment at a recent party policy convention — would receive a security detail due to the threatening nature of some of the messages she’s received.

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Alberta micro-maltsters serve exploding craft beer scene

 

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Joe Hamill, head malter at Red Shed Malting. Credit: Andrew Brown/CBC

Alberta might not have the hop prowess of our western neighbours in B.C., but as the craft beer scene rapidly expands under new provincial rules, micro-maltsters are popping up to bring local barley to local brews.

“We’re a craft maltster, so we’re producing specialty malts for the craft brewing industry here in Alberta,” explains Joe Hamill from Red Shed Malting.

Malt is the backbone to beer, adding flavour and colour that helps separate a dark beer like a porter from lighter fair like a pale ale. The barley on which it relies is abundant in Alberta.

Calgary is already home to the country’s largest malt company, Canada Malting, but small-batch producers are a new, and still small, phenomena — two and counting.

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Report looks at costs and causes of Alberta’s PPA fight

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Credit: CBC

new report calls into question the Alberta government’s cost estimates in relation to power companies walking away from agreements and outlines the combination of factors that are making those agreements unprofitable.

Written by economists Trevor Tombe and Andrew Leach — who chaired the province’s climate change advisory panel — and published by the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy, the report deals with the controversy surrounding Power Purchase Arrangements in Alberta’s complex private energy market.

The government is going to court in an attempt to prevent the companies that own the PPAs from walking away from the arrangements — something the government said will cost Albertans $2 billion — citing the new increased emissions fees and Alberta’s new climate policy.

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Jason Kenney sidesteps war of words on rumoured PC leadership bid

Jason Kenney, the Conservative MP who has upended right-wing politics in Alberta with the suggestion he’s considering a run for the leadership of the PC Party, isn’t getting drawn into a war of words on his ambitions.

Some party members are none too pleased at the prospect of Kenney as their leader, particularly since the former federal cabinet minister has made it clear he would try to unite the right in the province.

Kenney was in Calgary Tuesday night speaking at an event hosted by Tribute to Liberty, a charity group that is raising money to create a national memorial to the victims of communism.

Thomas Lukaszuk, who lost a leadership bid against another former federal minister, Jim Prentice, said there should be restrictions on who can run to lead a party.

He said Kenney’s politics don’t align with the PCs and the MP for Calgary-Midnapore supported the Wildrose Party in the last provincial election.

There’s also the issue of taking the helm of a party just to destroy it.

“Why would you want to join a party that just a few weeks ago in Red Deer almost unanimously voted not to enter into any merger negotiations, on a platform to literally blow up and merge with Wildrose, when even Wildrose doesn’t want to be a part of that,” said Lukaszuk.

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