Edmonton·Podcast

The Ledge: Communication complications

A CBC story revealing Justice Minister and Solicitor General Doug Schweitzer was interviewed by the RCMP about the 2017 UCP leadership race rocked the Alberta legislature this week.

A media scrum with Health Minister Tyler Shandro doesn't go quite the way he planned

Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer was interviewed by the RCMP on Sunday about the 2017 UCP leadership race in which he was a candidate. (Michelle Bellfontaine/CBC)

A CBC story revealing Justice Minister and Solicitor General Doug Schweitzer was interviewed by the RCMP about the 2017 UCP leadership race rocked the Alberta legislature this week.

RCMP are investigating allegations of fraud in the vote won by now-premier Jason Kenney. Schweitzer was a candidate in the race and raised concerns about the validity of the electronic voting process.

His involvement as a witness renewed calls from NDP Leader Rachel Notley to appoint an prosecutor who doesn't report to Schweitzer to help the RCMP with the investigation.

On Thursday, Sarah Langley, the acting head of Alberta Crown Prosecution Service, announced an out-of-province prosecutor would be named, a decision Schweitzer said was made independently of him. 

This week on The Ledge podcast, host Michelle Bellefontaine talks to CBC investigative reporter Jennie Russell who, with her colleague Charles Rusnell, broke the news Monday about Schweitzer's RCMP interview.

An independent prosecutor will be named to assist the RCMP with the investigation into the 2017 UCP leadership race; Premier Jason Kenney has to cancel a climate change repeal event because of wildfires; and Health Minister Tyler Shandro makes "in due course" a hashtag on Twitter. 18:40

Jennie explains what issues are at stake, particularly the role Crown prosecutors play in RCMP investigations and why people were worried about a possible conflict of interest.

Michelle discusses the video of her questioning Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro that inspired its own hashtag on Twitter — "in due course."

She also reveals the quickly changing media strategy which led to Kenney's staff cancelling a news conference at an Edmonton gas station to celebrate the end of the Alberta carbon tax.