MP Brian Jean says 8 credit cards would have bought thousands of UCP memberships

UCP MLA Brian Jean said Monday he filed a complaint with Elections Alberta after his team discovered that eight credit cards had been used to purchase more than 4,619 party memberships.

When asked how he found the information, Jean said he discovered the situation by “digging”.

“We now know that over 4,000 memberships were purchased under very questionable circumstances and the only team that could purchase them under those circumstances was Jason Kenney’s team,” the Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche MLA said.

“Our understanding is that several parties have filed complaints with Elections Alberta about this and we understand they are investigating it.”

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In a statement, Elections Alberta said it was “unable to comment on allegations we may or may not have received, or investigations we may or may not conduct.”

Government House Leader Jason Nixon said Monday that the UCP was “not aware” of an investigation, but noted that buying memberships in bulk is a “standard process,” Jean would probably have used himself.

“Using (online) portals to download memberships is a standard process in the party,” Nixon said. “You must still have sold the membership to the individual, you must have collected payment from the individual, and you must have completed the paperwork with the individual.”

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Irfan Sabir, MLA for Calgary-McCall, said the province’s Information and Privacy Commissioner should also look into the allegations.

“I think these are pretty serious allegations,” Sabir said Monday, calling it a matter of democratic transparency. “When Bill 81 (the Election Statutes Amendment Act) was before the Legislative Assembly, we raised these serious concerns, Albertans raised these serious concerns, three of their MPs voted against this bill. But the government did not listen to any of this.

“We kind of saw this coming: when you allow someone to buy a membership without someone’s consent or knowledge, this thing had to happen.”

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UCP says report of member receiving 2 leadership ballots ‘not a problem’

UCP says report of member receiving 2 ballots for leadership is ‘not a problem’ – April 30, 2022

A party representative told Global News that Jean’s claims about an investigation were “false”.

“These claims are completely false and not supported by any evidence,” UCP spokesman Dave Prisco said in a statement. He confirmed that the credit card can be used to enter cash membership sales into the party system, but payments must be accompanied by a hard copy of the membership sale.

“These are thoroughly audited and if they fail to meet the requirements, membership is terminated,” Prisco said.

The results of Premier Jason Kenney’s Leadership Mail-In Ballot Leadership Review will be counted May 11-17 and are expected to be announced May 18.

— with files from Adam Toy, Global News

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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