Province of Alberta introduces bill that would fire elections commissioner

Nov 19 2019, 10:59 am

Lorne Gibson, Alberta’s Elections Commissioner who has been investigating the United Conservative Party’s leadership contest on allegations of fraud will likely be fired with the introduction of a new bill on Monday.

Bill 22: the Reform of Agencies, Boards, and Commissions and Government Enterprises Act would move the Office of the Election Commissioner’s “obligations, liabilities, powers, and duties” to that of the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer instead.

“Our government promised Albertans we would live within our means,” said Travis Toews, President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance, in the release.

“Bill 22 ensures publicly owned enterprises and agencies, boards, and commissions provide the best value to the taxpayer and deliver the results Albertans expect.”

Gibson had previously dolled out a total of $211,723 fines in relation to the UCP Leadership contest, according to a response from opposition leader Rachel Notley.

“For Mr. Kenney to fire the Elections Commissioner in the middle of an open investigation into the conduct of his own party during his leadership race is, as far as I know, without precedent in Alberta’s history,” Notley said in a statement.

“It reeks of political interference. It reeks of corruption. It reeks of the sort of entitlement and self-dealing that the Conservatives became known for.”

Notley called on Kenney in her statement to reverse the decision, and noted that she will investigating “whether citizens have the right to have this corrupt act and abuse of power reviewed in the courts.”

“I will do everything in my power as leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Official Opposition to stop him from this historic and unprecedented attack on our democracy.”

Bill 22 in its entirety can be found here.