Election commissioner's office officially dissolved: Elections Alberta

The Office of the Election Commissioner has been dissolved and transferred to the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer, Elections Alberta said in a news release Friday.

Bill 22, the Reform of Agencies, Boards and Commissions and Government Enterprises Act, came into effect on Friday, the agency said.

On Thursday, the legislature passed the bill, which included the firing of election commissioner Lorne Gibson.

Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley said Thursday the quick passage of the bill is the mark of a premier and government “consumed by power and unconcerned by the views of Albertans.”

Friday’s news release didn’t mention Gibson by name.

It said a timeline for the appointment of a new election commissioner hasn’t been identified, but that all investigations started by Gibson’s office “will continue under Elections Alberta’s statutory mandate.”

Glen Resler, the chief electoral officer, will perform the role of the election commissioner during the transition period, the release said.

Transition activities will be taking place, “commencing with a review of the current activities of the former Office of the Election Commissioner,” the release said.

Gibson was leading the investigation into the so-called “kamikaze” campaign of UCP leadership candidate Jeff Callaway and had levied fines against 15 people totalling $207,223.

Callaway allegedly entered the race to discredit former Wildrose leader, and Kenney’s chief rival, Brian Jean, only to drop out and endorse Kenney weeks later. 

Kenney and Callaway deny they worked together to defeat Jean, but emails obtained by CBC News show high-ranking Kenney officials providing resources, including strategic political direction, media, and debate talking points, speeches, videos and attack advertisements, to the Callaway campaign.

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