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Saturday, February 11, 2017
Alberta Lawyer wants Jason Kenney disqualified from PC leadership race
WATCH ABOVE: A lawyer and member of Alberta's Progressive Conservative Association filed an official complaint saying Jason Kenney should be disqualified from the PC leadership race for violating party ethics. Sarah Kraus reports.
A lawyer and member of the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta filed an official complaint Thursday afternoon asking for PC leadership hopeful Jason Kenney to be kicked out of the running.
Jeffrey Rath said he believes Kenney is in violation of the party’s code of ethics.
“To me, as a long time Progressive Conservative member, I just can’t stomach it,” he said.
“Telling people that the Conservative Party is dead, that it can’t win any elections without joining the Wildrose are harmful to the Progressive Conservative brand.”
Rath used his background as a lawyer to compile evidence he feels proves his point.
“We put together 33 pages of evidence with regards to what has been going on with Mr. Kenney and his deliberate destruction of the PCAA brand for his own political purposes and they’ll have a decision to make and that’s all we want is a fair hearing,” Rath said.
Rath told Global News he thinks Kenney is working with politician Preston Manning to dissolve the PC party and bring back the Social Credit party – something that would contravene an undertaking Kenney allegedly signed when he chose to run for leader.
“His obligation to avoid causing harm or disrepute to the Progressive Conservative Association and its brand through any detrimental conduct whether intentional or unintentional.”
Janice Harrington of the PC Leadership Election Committee acknowledged receiving the complaint Thursday.
“It’s very long and we haven’t had a chance to review it yet. The committee will be discussing it at its next regular meeting,” she said. “We have to discuss it, review the merits, determine what the evidence would be – if there is any – and then determine how we would move forward, if we would.”
The meeting is scheduled to be held Sunday.
Though Jason Kenney did not respond to Global News’ request for an interview, he addressed the complaint on Twitter.
“Very disappointed to see another PC leadership campaign seeking to disqualify my candidacy rather than letting the members decide,” he wrote.
Rath did not deny his connections to Richard Starke.
“Yes! I’m a volunteer on Richard’s campaign, I think he’s the leading renewal candidate,” he said, adding that he chose to file the complaint independently.
Harrington said no matter the affiliation, the association is still taking the complaint seriously.
“Any member of our party has a right to lay a complaint where they feel fit. It’s the leadership election committee’s responsibility to look at that complaint, weigh any evidence and then determine how to move forward.”
She added this is the first concern of this nature to be sent to the PCAA in this leadership race. Harrington also confirmed all people in the running for the PC leadership did sign a code of ethics.
Rath said that counts for something legally.
“I hope the board of the Progressive Conservative Association understands that it has a fiduciary to the membership and the party to hold Jason Kenney to his undertaking when he ran as leader and the constitution of the party.”