Alberta / covid 19

Premier Smith welcomes Ethics Commissioner probe; Opposition calls for fully independent judicial investigation

Statement: Office of the Premier

Premier Danielle Smith’s office issued the following statement:

“The Premier was recently contacted by the Ethics Commissioner, who is undertaking an investigation into whether or not the Premier has interfered with the administration of justice in relation to a COVID prosecution.

“The Premier welcomes this investigation, is fully cooperating with the Commissioner, and is confident this examination will confirm there has been no such interference.

“As a result of the ongoing investigation, it would be inappropriate for the Premier to comment on this further, until the investigation is completed.”

News Release

Irfan Sabir, Alberta NDP Justice Critic and MLA for Calgary-Bhullar-McCall, issued the following statement in response to the Ethics Commissioner’s investigation into Danielle Smith’s interference in the justice system:

“While I welcome this investigation, I want to stress that it’s also not nearly enough. We continue to call for a fully independent judicial investigation as well. Only a judge could look at breaches of other legislation and could conduct interviews concerning matters not covered in the Conflict of Interest Act.

“Additionally, the outcome of an Ethics commissioner investigation will relate only to the private interest of Art Pawlowski. The Premier’s actions are a clear violation of the rule of law, and she should be held accountable for that.

“Finally, the sanctions for a breach of the Conflict of Interest Act are limited to the Legislative Assembly — which is held by a UCP majority. Consequences for any wrongdoing under the Conflict of Interest Act or other laws must also be a matter for the judicial system and not solely the legislature.

“Alberta’s NDP continues to call for a fully independent investigation by a judge. The Premier could launch this today. Albertans fear they have a Premier who thinks she’s above the law, or that the laws of our province don’t apply to her extremist friends.

“The foundation of our justice system has been shaken. Albertans deserve full answers on what happened here before they cast a vote in May.”

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