Posted on Sep 9, 2020


EDMONTON - Today the UCP members of the Select Special Democratic Accountability Committee voted to block an invitation to former Election Commissioner Lorne Gibson to present to the committee. 

The motion was defeated by a vote of 7-4, with all UCP MLA’s voting against inviting the former Chief Electoral Officer and the Election Commissioner who was terminated with the passing of Bill 22. The committee is tasked with reviewing the Election Act and the Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act. Instead the UCP chose to invite the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, one of the organizations Gibson fined for not following Alberta election laws. 

“Lorne Gibson is a nationally recognized expert on Alberta election law, who has served as both Election Commissioner and Chief Electoral Officer,” said Heather Sweet, NDP Democracy and Ethics Critic. “The only reason the UCP would be opposed to hearing from Gibson is that they are afraid of what he might say.” 

Lorne Gibson was fired in the midst of his investigation into the kamikaze scandal where UCP leadership candidate Jeff Callaway is alleged to have used a secret $60,000 corporate donation to finance a phony campaign that worked with the leadership campaign of Jason Kenney, including senior members of his office to attack candidate Brian Jean.

“The UCP needs to explain to Albertans why they would rather have the views of a lobby group on their election laws than those of a former Chief Electoral Officer and Election Commissioner,” continued Sweet. “By rejecting expert opinions the UCP are treating this committee and its mandate of improving democracy and accountability in Alberta like a joke. Albertans deserve better, especially when it comes to something as vital as our democracy.”

The UCP MLAs who voted against inviting Gibson to present were: Jeremy Nixon, Laila Goodridge, R J Sigurdson, Nate Horner, Tanya Fir, Garth Rowswell and Mark Smith.