Premier pressured justice minister's office to get rid of COVID charges, sources say
Alberta Premier Danielle Smith pressured the attorney general and his office to intervene in COVID-related court cases, according to multiple sources familiar with the interactions.
Exchanges between the premier's office and Justice Minister Tyler Shandro's office over several months included what sources characterized as attempts to influence cases.
"I would classify it as inappropriate," one source close to the situation said. CBC News has agreed not to name them because of potential professional repercussions.
Smith would ask for updates on cases or inquire whether it would be possible to abandon them, they said.
This specifically included the prosecution of Artur Pawlowski, a pastor charged with two counts of criminal mischief and a charge under Alberta's Critical Infrastructure Defence Act related to the Coutts border blockade.
Another source with knowledge of the situationconfirmed Smith committed to taking that case to Shandro with the intent to make the charges go away.
CBC News has agreed not to name the sources, as they were not authorized to discuss these matters and out of concern they could lose their jobs.
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