New fines issued over funding for Callaway’s UCP leadership bid on same day Alberta election is called

WATCH ABOVE: Alberta's province's election commissioner has levied a new round of fines in connection with Jeff Callaway's controversial campaign in the 2017 UCP leadership race.

On the day the writ was dropped, officially launching Alberta’s 2019 provincial election campaign, the province’s election commissioner levied a new round of fines in connection with Jeff Callaway’s controversial campaign in the 2017 UCP leadership race.

The commissioner’s website shows that on Tuesday, Darcy McAllister was fined $4,000 for contributing $4,000 to Callaway’s campaign “with funds given or furnished by another person.”

McAllister was also fined an additional $4,000 for furnishing $4,000 to Maja McAllister for the purpose of making a contribution to Callaway’s campaign, for a total of $8,000 in fines.

Maja McAllister was issued a letter of reprimand for contributing $4,000 to Callaway’s campaign with funds given or furnished from Darcy McAllister.

READ MORE: Alberta election commissioner issues 3rd fine this week in connection with UCP leadership race

The commissioner also issued a letter of reprimand to David Ruiz for contributing $3,000 to Callaway with funds given or furnished by another person.

Global News has reached out to Jeff Callaway for comment on the latest round of fines issued in connection with his campaign.

When asked for comment, the UCP supplied Global News with a statement previously issued by the party’s executive director, Janice Harrington.

“We expect all Albertans, be they members or not, to abide by all laws, including those with respect to election financing,” Harrington said. “We are not provided any information by the election commissioner about these rulings beyond what is publicly available on the commissioner’s website.

“The party plays no role in the collection or disclosure of donations to leadership contestants,” Harrington’s statement goes on to say.

“This has absolutely nothing to do with our campaign.”

The latest fines to be issued in connection with what some have dubbed a “kamikaze campaign” come just one day after UCP Leader Jason Kenney responded to leaked emails that appear to show his campaign team worked with Callaway’s team to have Callaway attack Kenney’s primary rival in the leadership race, Brian Jean.

READ MORE: Kenney defends his team communicating with UCP adversary during leadership race as ‘not unusual’

WATCH BELOW: (From March 18, 2019) Typically, a throne speech would take centre stage at the Alberta legislature, but on Monday, UCP Leader Jason Kenney was asked about the controversy surrounding the 2017 UCP leadership race. Vinesh Pratap explains.

“There was staff communicating on communications material and stuff like that,” Kenney told Global News Radio on Monday while speaking about his campaign staff’s dealings with members of Callaway’s leadership campaign. “This is not the least bit unusual that campaigns will communicate.”

“But there was no material financial support — absolutely not.”

READ MORE: UCP drops candidate, alleges he wasn’t ‘forthright’ about contribution to Callaway campaign

While fines levied by the election commissioner have raised questions about how the Callaway campaign was financed, a report published by Maclean’s on Monday shed new light on where tens of thousands of dollars may have come from.

The magazine reported it has obtained personal bank documents showing a $60,000 payment being deposited into the personal bank account of Callaway’s campaign manager, Cam Davies, from a corporate entity listed as “Agropyron.” Maclean’s reported that Davies told the publication the money was then funnelled to Callaway’s campaign in a way that may have broken provincial laws. The magazine also reported that Davies said the source of the funds was then covered up.

The RCMP has confirmed to Global News that the election commissioner has referred a matter involving the UCP leadership race to them and that they are now looking into it.

“The plot continues to thicken,” the NDP’s candidate for Edmonton-Glenora, Sarah Hoffman, said in a news release.

“This is an abuse of democracy. A leader needs to have integrity. Kenney is not fit to be premier.”

WATCH BELOW: (From March 18, 2019) More questions are being raised about the 2017 UCP leadership race and who helped Jeff Callaway with his campaign and why. On Monday afternoon, party leader Jason Kenney answered more questions about the controversy. Sarah Kraus reports.

Alberta’s election will take place on April 16.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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