Alberta Premier Smith says UCP paying for potential defamation lawsuit against CBC

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith says her United Conservative Party is paying for legal action against the CBC, which the opposition NDP says the government has declined to prosecute.

Smith was asked by reporters in Calgary on Tuesday who was funding the legal action, he replied “the party” and did not elaborate.

His office did not immediately respond to followup questions about why the party would fund legal action that concerns Smith in his role as premier.

Party spokesman Dave Prisco also did not immediately respond to a request for clarification on whether UCP agreed to pay the bill.

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Alberta premier no longer taking questions about alleged judicial interference due to potential lawsuit

On Sunday, a notice of defamation letter sent by lawyers on behalf of Smith asked the CBC to retract and apologize for the January story. The story said a member of her staff sent emails to the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service, challenging how it was handling court cases from COVID-19 protests at the United States-Canada border in Coutts, Alta. Is.

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Smith has said a review found no evidence of contact between his office and the Prosecution Service. The CBC has said it stands by its reporting.

a week ago, N.D.P. Released a phone call recording of Smith in discussion with Calgary Street Pastor Artur Pawlowski His criminal trial related to his involvement with the Coutts blockade.

Smith is heard offering to conduct the inquiry on Pawlowski’s behalf, revealing internal government arguments on the direction of the case and telling him that the allegations against him are rooted in political bias. She also said she was reminding prosecutors “almost weekly” about her concerns about pursuing such cases.

Click to play video: 'Alberta premier hits back at judicial interference allegations, threatens legal action'

Alberta premier hits back at judicial interference allegations, threatens legal action

Smith has refused to answer questions from reporters about the call, citing a possible lawsuit against the CBC.

Opposition NDP leader Rachel Notley said Tuesday that cabinet ministers had insurance to cover legal costs during her premiership.

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Notley said it is possible that the people who were tasked with weighing the merits of Smith’s potential lawsuit turned out against paying for it, forcing Smith to look elsewhere.

“It’s quite possible that the people running that fund within the Alberta government and within the attorney general’s ministry don’t really think that this is a valid legal strategy, particularly for the premier, and (that) it’s not a problem.” That he got away because of doing his proper job as premier,” Notley said.

“Rather, (Smith) got away with it in a way that is unprecedented and unacceptable, and so the only way she can pursue this lawsuit is if she goes to the UCP donors and asks them to pay.”

Notley said the other option is that Smith purposely went out of government to pursue the case.

“If (Smith) believed she was truly a victim of defamation as a result of doing her job as premier, then that (government insurance) is a fund they could go into,” Notley said.

“But when that happens, you are not hiring lawyers. The civil service is hiring lawyers and lawyers are advising what the law will advise them.

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“But because, I would argue, the premier is so far away from the law, she is instead going to a partisan source of funding so that she can use this legal action as a political tactic, as a real legal claim. No.”

The NDP has called for an independent investigation to determine what happened and whether Smith, as premier, contacted the other accused to discuss their cases.

Legal experts have said that Smith’s call with Pawlowski represents a flagrant violation of democratic norms There should be a firewall to separate politicians from the day-to-day decision-making of cases before the courts.

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Alberta NDP alleges corruption, conflict of interest in Premier Danielle Smith’s office

The notice of defamation letter gives the CBC until April 28 to retract its article and apologize or face possible legal action, just days before the writ drops expected for the May 29 provincial election. Will be first.

Smith has long been critical of the COVID-19 masking, gathering and vaccine mandate rules, questioning whether the measures were needed to fight the pandemic. She promised to apologize for protesters of COVID-19 health restrictions.

He said that after becoming the Prime Minister, he came to know that he did not have the power to grant pardon.

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