NDP attacks UCP over house leader’s ‘troubling past’
Published Sunday, April 7, 2019 5:27PM MDT
Last Updated Sunday, April 7, 2019 6:19PM MDT
The Alberta election got a little more heated on Sunday when the NDP accused the United Conservatives of hiding the “unacceptable behaviour” of Jason Kenney’s chief spokesperson Jason Nixon.
In a release, the NDP said it had documents that showed Nixon was involved in a serious incident back in 2009 involving a woman in Cremona.
The incident was reported in local media at the time and charges against Nixon were later dropped.
But now the New Democrats are again bringing up the decade-old incident and have even produced a video interviewing the complainant.
That complainant, Alison Gentry, says she encountered Nixon and four other individuals who were allegedly trespassing on her property on November 6, 2009.
In a victim impact statement filed in court Gentry said noticed the group, all of whom she said were armed, while she was patrolling her land.
Without leaving her vehicle, she informed the group that they were trespassing and there was no hunting allowed on the property.
She says the group left their guns by a fencepost and began to clear away a deer they’d shot, at which point Gentry used her cellphone to attempt to take photos of the men.
When the unnamed driver noticed, he got out of the truck and she claims he became aggressive.
“He walked up to my car door, reached through the open window, and tried to grab the phone in my right hand,” Gentry’s statement reads. “I drew my arm to the right, downward toward the e-brake, as he tried to catch my arm to flip the phone away.”
After another short exchange, another resident, Donna Maynes arrived at the scene. Maynes had been called by Gentry for help to take photos of the trespassers.
When Maynes drove closer to the group, she heard one of the men threaten Gentry.
“He said: ‘Hey, … [someone’s name] d’you want to shoot that bitch?!” the document states.
Gentry told CTV News that Nixon was charged with assault and trespassing and had to sign a peace bond, agreeing to stay away from her property.
On Sunday, Nixon denied the NDP’s characterization of the incident, calling it an “attempt by the NDP to distract from their complete failure over the last four years.”
“The allegations are a complete lie. I have statements from multiple witnesses who, were present and can confirm this is a lie.”
He went on to allege Gentry was the aggressor in the situation and he was only there to pick up his son.
“Ms. Gentry was extremely upset. She made some threatening remarks about people coming to deal with us. I asked if that was a Fish and Wildlife officer, she said ‘No’. I chose to put my 12-year-old son in the truck and drive him to meet with Fish and Wildlife authorities.”
Nixon added the charges against him were dropped and he never had to pay $2,000 as per the terms of the peace bond.
“The courts withdrew that. So there is no doubt that Ms. Gentry made those claims over a decade ago. But also there's no doubt that the witnesses that were at that scene say that did not take place, and what Ms. Gentry is saying is a lie. As a result of that, the courts withdrew those from the process.”
Nixon says he was glad to sign a peace bond because it was merely an agreement not to go anywhere near Gentry’s property, not an admission of guilt.
“We did deny the allegation and the courts withdrew the charges.”
He says the situation was also widely covered in the media and he informed leaders of the Wildrose about it when he was elected in 2015 and again when he joined the UCP.
In a statement, the UCP called the NDP’s ploy “gutter politics” and says Nixon has never been convicted of a crime.
“As has been previously reported, Ms. Gentry’s allegations resulted in a charge of common assault against Mr. Nixon. That charge was withdrawn by the Crown in 2011,” the statement read.
(With files from Chris Epp)