Edmonton Journal

Judge rules investigat­ion into Callaway can continue

- KMartin@postmedia.com

calgary The investigat­ion into former UCP leadership candidate Jeff Callaway’s campaign financing can continue, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Anne Kirker refused to grant an injunction that would have ordered election commission­er Lorne Gibson to temporaril­y stop looking into the financing of Callaway’s so-called “kamikaze” campaign.

Lawyer Ivan Bernardo, who represents Callaway and five other members of his team under investigat­ion, argued in an emergency injunction hearing Monday that Kirker should halt Gibson’s investigat­ion.

Bernardo sought an order from Kirker that would have delayed Gibson looking into the financing of Callaway’s bid for the UCP leadership. He argued his clients had a reasonable apprehensi­on of bias by Gibson, based on his investigat­ion to date.

“We’re not asking for this investigat­ion to be shut down,” Bernardo told Kirker. “We’re asking for it to be paused until the court can answer some important questions.”

Kirker ruled Wednesday that the investigat­ion should continue.

“The commission­er faces statutoril­y mandated time limits to complete his investigat­ion. Granting an interlocut­ory injunction risks those time limits running out before the issues in dispute are finally resolved,” Kirker said. “Even if there were evidence of irreparabl­e harm to the applicants, it would be, in my view, outweighed by the interests of the public in having investigat­ion of the complaint involving the applicants completed.”

Bernardo said questions of whether the investigat­ion breaches his clients’ Charter rights — such as the right to take part in the electoral process and whether they are being compelled to give self-incriminat­ing evidence — need to be determined.

One of the constituti­onal questions Bernardo wants resolved is whether interviews the commission­er wants to conduct with his clients constitute a “proceeding” under Section 13 of the Charter.

That section of the Constituti­on protects individual­s from having self-incriminat­ing evidence in one proceeding used in another, other than a prosecutio­n for perjury or giving contradict­ory testimony.

Bernardo also wants a determinat­ion on whether sections of the Election Finances and Contributi­ons Disclosure­s Act and the Election Act “are inconsiste­nt with the Charter and therefore of no force and effect.”

There is also an issue as to whether the applicants’ right to due process under the Charter and the Alberta Bill of Rights have been breached.

Bernardo told Kirker those questions will have to be resolved later.

 ??  ?? Jeff Callaway
Jeff Callaway

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