UCP leadership candidate Jeff Callaway in August 2017.
Shaughn Butts / Postmedia
The RCMP has interviewed Alberta’s Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer over questions that continue to swirl around the UCP leadership race.The revelation came as Alberta’s election commissioner handed out a slew of new fines totalling $22,000 related to Jeff Callaway’s leadership campaign.Responding to the information that Schweizter has been interviewed by police, the NDP Monday called for an emergency debate to push the appointment of a special prosecutor for the RCMP investigation into potential collusion between the campaigns of Callaway and now-Premier Jason Kenney.Official Opposition Leader Rachel Notley said Monday it was “jaw-dropping” that Schweitzer — who also ran unsuccessfully against Kenney for the top UCP job — has not appointed a special prosecutor.“It’s profoundly inappropriate. We’re now officially at the point where the Attorney General has been drawn directly into an investigation,” Notley told reporters at the Legislature, noting Schweitzer could be in a position to step down if a special prosecutor is not appointed.“At the very least, they should appoint a special prosecutor to remove it from the care and control of executive council,” she said.Schweitzer said Monday he had a “short,” 30-minute conversation with the RCMP on Sunday about the leadership campaign.He said he was assisting them with their investigation, but added that, to his knowledge, he’s not under investigation.He declined to comment further on the matter and referred questions directly to the RCMP.“The RCMP are investigating as they see fit,” he said.Notley stressed that even perceived bias could erode the integrity of the investigation.“If it’s an investigation into them, they shouldn’t be in that position,” she said.More fines in Callaway campaignThe latest round of fines over the Callaway campaign were dated May 22 on the commissioner’s website.They include six fines of $2,000 each levied against Cameron Davies, Callaway’s campaign manager. Penalties included furnishing funds to political donors in other people’s names.Davies was previously slapped with a $15,000 fine for “obstruction of an investigation” in February.Lenore Eaton, Callaway’s chief financial officer, was also slapped with two $5,000 penalties. Those were for failing to “advise the CEO of $7,600 prohibited contribution accepted from Energize Alberta Corp.” and for having “knowingly made a false statement on Leadership Contestant Financial Statement filed with the CEO.”No other details were provided online by election commissioner Lorne Gibson, who has said in the past that he can’t make details of his investigations public due to constraints under legislation.The May 22 penalties follow numerous others linked to the Callaway campaign.Previous fines have totalled $49,000.In 2017, UCP Leader Jason Kenney — now premier — squared off against contenders Callaway, former Wildrose Party leader Brian Jean and now Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer to successfully win the leadership bid.Former party insiders have accused Kenney’s team of collaborating with Callaway’s campaign to sink Jean’s chances of winning the leadership race. The accusation is that Callaway targeted Jean during debates and media appearances, allowing Kenney to avoid making the attacks himself.Callaway withdrew from the race just before the vote and endorsed Kenney. They have both denied making a deal.There are also allegations of irregular donations to Callaway’s campaign. Gibson handed an investigation over those allegations to the RCMP, saying its seriousness transcended his purview.The RCMP searched Calgary-East UCP MLA Peter Singh’s auto-repair shop in April. His lawyer said the raid was to seize his computer as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged voter fraud in the party’s leadership campaign.Defence counsel Jim Lutz said Singh is “adamant” he did nothing email@example.com/clareclancy