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Critics say RCMP investigations will hurt UCP candidate’s chances
Published Saturday, April 13, 2019 5:19PM MDT
Last Updated Saturday, April 13, 2019 6:42PM MDT
Earlier this week, Mounties executed a search warrant on a business owned by the man vying to be the United Conservative MLA for Calgary-East and political experts say it will have serious implications to his campaign.
The RCMP conducted a search at about 11:00 p.m. on April 11 of a business owned by Peter Singh and ended up seizing a computer hard drive, additional electronics and a hard-shelled suitcase.
Officials did not release any details of the investigation and, on April 12, Singh’s office told CTV News that the items taken during the execution of the search warrant had already been returned.
“It is apparent this story is a scare tactic used to create doubt in the voter’s mind by the competition, to hurt my Campaign and the United Conservative Party during this crucial time as we are very near Election Day,” he wrote in a statement.
Lori Williams, a political scientist with Mount Royal University, says this isn’t the first time that Singh has been under investigation over his political dealings.
“The UCP itself investigated Mr. Singh for possible bribes involved in his nomination campaign. So, there are already questions swirling around him and now that seems to be reinforced by investigations by the RCMP.”
The UCP said there wasn’t sufficient evidence to find Singh guilty of any wrongdoing, Williams says, but even admitting that could also end up hurting the party as a whole.
“That could have implications more broadly for the UCP, but it definitely has significant implications for Mr. Singh.”
William adds that the past week has not been good for the party, especially when details of fraudulent emails connected to the UCP leadership race came out.
“This, combined with the already significant evidence surrounding the possibility that Jeff Callaway ran and was funded simply to attack Brian Jean and then to join Kenney in the final days of the leadership campaign. Evidence supporting those allegations at this level is going to have an impact on the UCP.”
Last day for advance polling in Alberta
Saturday was also the final day Albertans had to cast their vote ahead of Election Day on April 16. Many of the voters told CTV News that people all came out to avoid the long lines and have their voices heard.
Dale Murray said he didn’t want to get caught up in the rush on Election Day. He adds this election is very different than the ones he’s been a part of before.
“It’s very polarizing. It’s very split about the ones who are running and it’s going to be an exciting time when the ballots start coming in.”
He says that he’s heard of the bad press flying about among all the candidates but says he ignored that and voted for his own heart.
Alan Besseling came out early because the last time he voted, for the Calgary 2026 plebiscite, there was a huge lineup.
“I think that a lot of people have that same concept; that there is going to be a heavy voter turnout this time around,” he said. “I think it’s a pretty polarizing situation and I think people have very strong perspectives.”
CTV News again tried to make contact with Peter Singh but his office stated that he was unavailable for comment until April 17.
For full election coverage, go to CTV Calgary’s Election 2019 page.
(With files from Alesia Fieldberg)