George Clark latest to be questioned by RCMP about potential identity fraud in UCP leadership race

Susan Thompson
Exress Staff

George Clark, leader of the Albertans First group made infamous by his so-called “kudatah” attempt to overthrow the NDP government by purchasing memberships in the party, has confirmed he was questioned by RCMP in relation to their investigation into potential identify fraud in the UCP leadership race.

Clark took to the “Peace River Politics” group on Facebook, where he is an active member despite not living in the region, to clarify what he had discussed with the RCMP.

Clark says he takes an interest in local politics due to growing up in the Hawk Hills north of Peace River.

“I’ve been asking for months why the [Election Commissioner] & RCMP Investigators never asked me in for an interview,” he wrote in comments.

“When finally asked, I went in next day [without] a lawyer and provided them with answers to all questions.”

On his personal Facebook profile, where Clark maintains a dedicated group of followers, he wrote, “My interview with the RCMP was very professional, the Investigators didn’t attempt to ambush me at all.”

“They are still fishing for evidence of wrongdoing. I satisfactorily answered all their questions of me. And then I provided information & supporting documents on how the NDP used government staff and ran their membership rejection process from Premier Notley’s office. With information that possibly was only available from citizen contact with her office.”

“The RCMP promised me that the info I provided would be sent up to Edmonton for them to investigate. They agreed that it was indeed something that should be investigated.”

Clark repeated his claim that former NDP Premier Rachel Notley and her staff were being investigated by RCMP in his comments on the local politics group, but at press time RCMP have not confirmed any such investigation.

Both the Alberta Election Commissioner and the RCMP are currently investigating claims that Premier Jason Kenney’s team coordinated with leadership candidate Jeff Callaway in a so-called “kamikaze” campaign to attack former leadership rival Brian Jean.

Documents obtained by media outlets including CBC and the Toronto Star demonstrate the close communication between the campaigns, including emails from Kenney’s team outlining everything from attack ads to Callaway’s eventual resignation from the race.

Earlier this year a former UCP MLA’s letter to the UCP caucus was also obtained by major media.

The letter alleges Jason Kenney’s leadership campaign used voting PINs obtained through fraudulent e-mail addresses to cast votes for Kenney to become leader of the UCP.

In some cases owners of the e-mail addresses contacted by media say they never joined the party.

RCMP raided then-UCP candidate Peter Singh’s office in April and seized his computer in relation to their investigation into the alleged identity fraud. Singh was later elected and is now an MLA.

To date, the RCMP have questioned eight sitting UCP MLAs in connection to the investigation, including five cabinet ministers.

Clark was questioned about the PINs and emails on August 14.

On August 15, Alberta RCMP publicly confirmed via Twitter that they are still investigating potential identity fraud in relation to the 2017 UCP leadership campaign.

However, Clark maintains he is not personally under investigation.

“The RCMP confirmed both coming in and upon leaving that I am not under investigation at all,” he wrote in his Facebook comments.

Clark also dismissed the investigation itself.

“A few rogue self styled ‘power brokers’ tried to game the system by buying extra memberships. Thus far approximately 30 suspect emails out of over 120,000 have been identified,” he wrote.

“Nobody of any stature nor role within the UCP has been accused of involvement. Just a few disgruntled wannabes who were resoundingly rejected by the UCP back in 2017 & 2018.”

“And the RCMP Investigators are pissed off that their bosses in Ottawa are refusing to accept their recommendations that nothing of substance has been uncovered despite 10 months of investigation,” Clark alleged.

Clark confirmed in Facebook comments that he volunteered for the leadership campaign of Jeff Callaway.

“I only volunteered, didn’t donate a cent. Nor did anyone ever ask me to donate anything or sign my name to a donation,” he wrote.

“Two disgruntled [Wildrose] members from Highwood Riding in a funds disposition dispute put words in the mouth of one of tens of thousands of WR members who really didn’t like Brian and the NDP are still harping about it.”

Clark told PressProgress, the progressive media outlet that originally broke the story of the alleged fraudulent emails, that he provided strategy input to Callaway’s campaign.

“I helped introduce Jeff around Alberta on his road tour and I provided him with strategy input as part of a group that were offering such input,” Clark said in that article.

“I reported to Jeff (Callaway) and helped Jeff Park and Randy Kerr in trying to garner support and media attention.”

The Election Commissioner has issued $163,000 in fines to date over illegal donations made to the Callaway campaign.

Both Randy Kerr and Jeffrey Park were fined $10,000 by the Election Commissioner for laundering donations to Callaway’s campaign.

On August 22, CBC reported documents from that investigation show Callaway’s campaign funds suddenly increased after he was handed envelopes containing $60,000, all of which ultimately came from a single corporate donor. Corporate donations are banned under Alberta’s election laws.

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