An Alberta legislature member has resigned from the United Conservative Party caucus following an investigation into allegations that stemmed from a constituency association meeting last month.
Calgary-Greenway MLA Prab Gill’s announcement comes a day after UCP Leader Jason Kenney told reporters he’d received a report from a probe the party launched into the Calgary-North East annual general meeting on June 30.
Kenney said Friday he hadn’t had a chance to see the completed report by former Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Ted Carruthers, as he’d only received it minutes before.
A video posted online earlier this month alleged voting irregularities at the meeting.
Gill says in a statement that while he may not agree with everything in the investigation, he accepts the findings and recognizes the party went through a “fair and independent process.”
He says he has also informed the party he will not be contesting a United Conservative nomination, although he will serve out the remainder of his term as an Independent MLA.
“I wish my former colleagues all the best in the future. I greatly respect all that they are trying to achieve as Alberta heads to the 2019 election, and I certainly would never want to be a distraction to those critical efforts,” Gill said in the statement, adding that he will now “focus on spending some much-needed time” with his family.
The former real-estate appraiser was elected as a Progressive Conservative in a provincial byelection in 2016, which was needed after Tory member Manmeet Bhullar was killed in a highway crash after he stopped to help a stranded motorist.
The PC party and Wildrose voted to merge last summer and became the UCP.
The governing NDP issued a statement calling on Kenney to release the report’s findings, accusing the Opposition leader of trying to sweep the affair under the rug.
“The public has a right to know exactly what was uncovered, how deep the investigation went and why Mr. Kenney covered up the allegations and refused to deal with them sooner,” an NDP statement said.
Kenney told reporters Friday that the party believed the allegations were “credible and serious,” which was why they engaged Carruthers to conduct the investigation.
He wouldn’t speculate at that time whether Gill could be kicked out of the party, saying he’d have to examine the report first.
Kenny issued a brief statement Saturday evening where he accepted Gill’s resignation and thanked Carruthers for his work investigating the meeting.
“I hope that we can now all move forward with our task of defeating the NDP,” Kenney said in the statement.
© 2018 The Canadian Press