EDITOR’S NOTE: This story originally said Singh described the raid as a scare tactic, however, his exact words were “this story is a scare tactic.” Global News has updated the story to reflect his exact words.
United Conservative Party candidate Peter Singh issued a statement to declare his innocence on Friday night in response to a police raid on his business.
A source with knowledge of the raid has confirmed to Global News that RCMP seized material from Singh’s business Thursday night.
“I stand firm on my innocence,” the Calgary-East candidate wrote in a Facebook post. “I have fully co-operated with the RCMP.
“The items seized from my business were returned at 9 a.m.”
Singh describes the story about the raid as an eleventh-hour “scare tactic” aimed at hurting his campaign and his party ahead of Tuesday’s election.
“I am completely focused on my campaign and this news story is not deterring our hard-earned efforts to represent my riding in Calgary-East and to advocate for a better Alberta,” he wrote.
Singh further clarified late Friday night that he would co-operate with the RCMP if asked.
It is not known why the RCMP seized items from the business, what was taken, or why it may have been returned. Global News has reached out to the RCMP, the UCP and Singh for comment but has not yet received an official response.
Watch below: (From April 17, 2019) Alberta’s premier-designate took questions from reporters on Wednesday, the first time he did so since he and the UCP were elected to a majority government. The first question Jason Kenney was asked was about the RCMP raiding a business owned by one of his candidates.
Earlier in the election campaign, UCP Leader Jason Kenney confirmed a legal representative for his party has been in contact with the RCMP but describe its enquiries as a “fact-finding mission”.
“I directed our party legal representative to reach out when we heard about a complaint to the RCMP and he offered on behalf of the party any assistance or co-operation,” Kenney told reporters at a media event in Calgary on March 28. “I understand they’ve had some discussion and the party will always be there to provide any information that’s requested of it but I’m not going to try and imagine what questions they’re asking… I don’t know.”
Kenney’s comments came one day after Alberta’s election commissioner issued new fines in connection with financial wrongdoing with regard to contributions made to Jeff Callaway’s 2017 UCP leadership bid.
Watch below: (From April 6, 2019) Documents filed with the courts are providing an inside glimpse of the election commissioner’s investigation into the UCP leadership race. Julia Wong explains.
The RCMP has previously told Global News it was looking into voter fraud allegations — related to the 2017 UCP leadership race — brought forth by former UCP MLA Prab Gill, whom the party severed ties with after an independent report commissioned by the party found he had engaged in ballot box stuffing.
Happy Mann, a former United Conservative Party nomination candidate, who has been issued fines in connection with improper financial contributions made to Callaway’s leadership campaign, also accused the UCP of using fake email addresses attached to memberships in the October 2017 leadership vote.
Gill sent a letter to the RCMP alleging the UCP used fake emails to give Kenney more votes in the leadership race, in which some have alleged Callaway ran as a kamikaze candidate to attack Kenney’s main rival in the contest, Brian Jean. Callaway eventually dropped out of the race and endorsed Kenney, who would later win the leadership.
Emails leaked to Global News show close communication between Callaway and Kenney’s campaign teams on a number of issues through the campaign.
None of the voter fraud allegations have been proven and Kenney has vehemently denied any involvement in the funding of Callaway’s campaign. Kenney has also denied any involvement in the voting structure of the UCP leadership race.
Earlier this week, Global News reported that leaked emails showed concerns over the 2017 UCP leadership vote were raised with the party weeks before Kenney won the race.
Watch below: (From April 10, 2019) Leaked emails have revealed that concerns over the 2017 UCP leadership vote were raised with the party weeks before Jason Kenney clinched the top job. Julia Wong has the details.
In an email obtained by Global News, dated Aug. 26, 2017, Hamish Marshall, who served on Brian Jean’s leadership campaign, flagged concerns to the party’s lawyer and threatened to go public, even including a draft press release.
Marshall condemned the “complete absence of scrutineering opportunities in the qualifying and voting process.”
Earlier this year, the UCP cleared Singh of allegations of fraud and bribery in his nomination race. The party said there was no proof to support the accusations.
Watch below: (From December 2018) Allegations against Calgary-East UCP candidate Peter Singh have surfaced accusing him of fraud and bribery in the nomination race. Adam MacVicar reports.
Singh won the Calgary-East nomination last November, defeating rivals Andre Chabot, Matthew Dirk, Jamie Lall and Issa Moussa.
He won in the third round. During the nomination contest, one UCP member came forward to the party executive to accuse Singh of using her credit card without her knowledge to sign her up for a party membership.
Those same concerns were aired to the media in published reports in December.
The UCP said it found no proof this had taken place and asked the complainant to provide evidence, but she did not.
After Singh won the nomination, the unsuccessful candidates co-signed a letter alleging Singh, or those acting on his behalf, “provided inducements,” including cash, to support his nomination.
To support those accusations, they provided sworn affidavits by two men who said they were approached with such inducements.
–With files from Global News’ Julia Wong and Adam MacVicar and from The Canadian Press’ Dean Bennett