Calgary MLA Prab Gill resigns from UCP caucus after investigation into ballot stuffing allegations

Gill won the riding of Calgary-Greenway in a 2016 byelection following the death of former Progressive Conservative MLA Manmeet Bhullar.

'I ultimately needed to do what was best for my family going forward'

Prab Gill celebrates winning a byelection in the riding of Calgary-Greenview in 2016. He resigned from the UCP caucus on Saturday. (Rachel Maclean/CBC)

Calgary-Greenway MLA Prab Gill has resigned from the United Conservative Party caucus, saying he doesn't agree with the findings of an investigation into allegations of ballot stuffing levelled following a June 30 constituency association meeting — but he will accept them.

"I ultimately needed to do what was best for my family going forward," reads a statement released Saturday on Gill's behalf by his chief of staff, Mandeep Shergill.

"While I may not agree with everything from the investigation into the June 30 Calgary-Northeast (sic) meeting, I accept the findings and recognize that the party went through a fair, independent process with a retired judge."

Along with his resignation, the statement says Gill will not be contesting a UCP nomination for the next provincial election and will remain an independent for the remainder of this term.

The statement was also posted to social media.

As first reported by StarMetro Calgary, retired judge Ted Carruthers — who formerly served as the Progressive Conservative party president — was hired by the UCP to look into allegations of ballot stuffing following the founding constituency association meeting for the newly formed riding of Calgary-North East.

Gill resigned as the party's deputy whip soon after the investigation was launched.

He won the riding of Calgary-Greenway in a 2016 byelection following the death of former Progressive Conservative MLA Manmeet Bhullar.

'Example of the moral bankruptcy'

NDP MLA Sandra Jansen issued a statement on Saturday, calling Gill's resignation, "just the latest example of the moral bankruptcy in [UCP leader] Jason Kenney's party."

"It's clear that the creation of the UCP has amplified both the bizarre behaviour of the Wildrose and the legacy of entitlement from the PCs. Albertans decisively rejected both in 2015," she wrote.

"Before Prab Gill, Don MacIntyre resigned facing sexual interference charges ... Overall, Kenney's "united" party has now shed [eight] out of 31 MLAs elected by the PCs and Wildrose."

MacIntyre, the former MLA for Innisfail-Sylvan Lake, resigned in February after he was charged with sexual interference and sexual assault. 

Jansen also called on Kenney to release the report into the allegations against Gill.

"He must also explain to voters why he buried this report until after the two recent by-elections (sic)," said the statement.

Kenney issued a statement on Saturday afternoon, saying he accepts Gill's resignation.

"I wish Prab and his family well in future endeavours," it read.

"I would also like to thank former Justice Ted Carruthers for his work investigating the June 30 Calgary-Northeast (sic) UCP Constituency Association meeting. I hope that we can now all move forward with our task of defeating the NDP and getting Alberta province (sic) back on track."