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Alberta PC leadership candidate Jason Kenney hit with fine after breaking campaign rules

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WATCH ABOVE: The Jason Kenney campaign has been fined $5,000 after it broke the rules at a delegate selection meeting in Edmonton last week. As Tom Vernon explains, the PC party hopes it sends a message that those seeking to lead the party must follow the rules. – Nov 21, 2016

Alberta Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Jason Kenney is being fined $5,000 by the party after an investigation into his activities at a PC delegate selection meeting last week.

The probe was ordered by the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta after the party said Kenney broke leadership campaign rules by setting up a hospitality suite near the meeting for the Edmonton-Ellerslie constituency on Nov. 16.

READ MORE: Vote for Alberta PC leader will be held next spring

Kenney himself appeared at the gathering and was asked to leave by party president Katherine O’Neill.

Leadership rules forbid any candidate from being in or near a selection meeting.

Party volunteers and members of two other leadership campaigns who were at the event filed a complaint with the party’s chief returning officer Rob Dunseith.

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“Our party is committed to a fair, open and transparent race during this leadership process,” O’Neill said in a news realse. “We want to rebuild our trust and relationship with all Albertans.”

The association’s board met Sunday and decided to issue the fine based on Dunseith’s recommendations, and to hold a new delegate selection meeting for the constituency.

READ MORE: Jason Kenney officially quits federal politics to pursue Alberta ambitions: ‘no going back now’

In a statement released Monday morning, Kenney’s leadership campaign said it was disappointed but will comply with the decision of the PCAA chief returning officer.

The statement said local supporters of Kenney’s campaign organized a get together before the delegate selection meeting for those who support his Unite Alberta campaign.

“They did so in a different space rented by our campaign. Jason Kenney simply intended to drop-by this event briefly to thank those running in support of his candidacy, and was at no point going to attend the Delegate Selection Meeting,” the statement read.

“Our campaign repeatedly sought clarification of the vague rules regarding activities prior to DSMs, but we received none. All of those running in support of our campaign in Edmonton Ellerslie were elected in an open and fair process, winning the full allotment of fifteen delegate positions.”

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With files from 630 CHED and Melissa Gilligan, Global News.

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