Alberta Premier Danielle Smith has been cleared of wrongdoing by the Ethics Commissioner in relation to allegations she interfered with the Crown Prosecutor Service.
Alberta’s Ethics Commissioner Marguerite Trussler released her report on Thursday morning in the middle of the Alberta General Election, saying that Smith should not have spoken to her Justice Minister about the matter, but that the main allegations in the sensational CBC story were without merit.
NDP leader Rachel Notley had requested an ethics investigation into Premier Smith’s phone call with Calgary pastor Artur Pawlowski.
“I want to deal first with the allegation published by CBC that a member of the Premier’s staff emailed a Crown Prosecutor about a case before the courts,” Trussler stated in her report.
“I asked numerous questions of a considerable number of people about the existence of any email and could find no evidence that the event occurred, or that any email exists,” she said.
She added “There is no evidence that the Premier ever spoke to any Crown Prosecutor.”
Sequence of events since January
In January, Pawlowski and Smith had a phone call about his criminal case in relation to the blockade at the Canada – US border at Coutts. On the leaked phone call, Smith talks to Pawlowski about his case where she offered to make some inquiries for him and get back to him.
Subsequently, the CBC wrote an article – then later doubled down – that they had proof that Smith spoke to Crown Prosecutors. CBC based its claim on an alleged anonymous source.
Smith later threatened to sue the CBC for defamation, but she’s since backed off the threat during her campaign.
Following CBC’s story, Notley alleged Smith interfered with Crown Prosecutors to help Pawlowski.
On Thursday, Smith called the CBC and NDP liars for their role in pushing the unsubstantiated claims.