(Edmonton) Alberta Premier Danielle Smith announced on Monday that she is under investigation by the Ethics Commissioner into whether she interfered in the administration of justice in the context of a lawsuit against a citizen related to pandemic health measures.
The Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement that Ms. Smith welcomes the investigation and will cooperate with the Ethics Commissioner. The Prime Minister also says she is convinced that this investigation will determine that she has done nothing wrong.
Ms Smith faced new allegations of interference with the justice system after a phone call went viral nearly two weeks ago. In this call, the Conservative Prime Minister is heard discussing an ongoing criminal case with the accused in this case.
On this call, Ms. Smith shares details of an internal disagreement over the Crown’s strategy in this case involving street pastor Artur Pawlowski, of Calgary.
Ms. Smith is heard promising to investigate on Pastor Pawlowski’s behalf and get back to him, while claiming that the charges against him are ideological.
Ms Smith has previously defended the timeliness of the phone call, saying that while politicians are not free to contact criminally accused people about their active case, that is her role as an elected official. , to listen to and act on the concerns of fellow citizens.
Then, over the weekend, Ms. Smith offered a new interpretation of the phone call. On her Saturday morning call-in radio show, she explained that she accepted Mr. Pawlowski’s phone call because she believed the pastor was calling her as the leader of a political party, the Alberta Independence Party. She suggested she didn’t expect him to bring up her court case.
Lawyers believe that this call constitutes a clear violation of the wall that must exist between the political and judicial powers. Whatever the reason for the call, Ms. Smith should have ended the conversation as soon as the court case arose, lawyers believe.