The Alberta government is on the attack after a second CBC story has been published regarding the Premier's office interfering with crown prosecutors around cases related to the Coutts protest last winter.
“This article was then used and editorialized by the Official Opposition to smear the reputations of the Premier, her office staff, Alberta Crown prosecutors and the Alberta Public Service," read a statement from the Premier's office issued Wednesday afternoon.
“The Premier calls on the CBC to retract its outrageous story and, further, that the CBC and the Official Opposition apologize."
By way of explaining the Premier's interest in granting legal amnesty for individuals charged with pandemic-related violations, the statement acknowledges the Premier publicly campaigned for seven months on exploring ways to do just that.
“After taking office, the Premier and her staff had several discussions with the Minister of Justice and ministry officials, requesting an explanation of what policy options were available for this purpose. After receiving a detailed legal opinion from the minister to not proceed with pursuing options for granting amnesty, the Premier followed that legal advice," the statement said.
According to the CBC exclusive report, multiple sources told the outlet the Premier pressured the justice minister's office to get rid of COVID charges.
Alberta's NDP responded to the Premier's statement Wednesday, saying because the allegations are coming from within the government, there must be an independent investigation into the matter.
“Let’s be clear: Smith herself has repeatedly described her attempts to meddle with criminal cases. She said so twice on camera and a third time in writing," said NDP MLA Rakhi Pancholi in a statement Wednesday afternoon.
“I am calling once again on Attorney General Tyler Shandro to commission a fully independent investigation today. He does not need the Premier’s permission."