Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is denying a report from an internet information supply that he dined at a downtown Edmonton restaurant with ministers and senior workers at a time when provincial COVID-19 restrictions forbade indoor eating with members from a number of households.
“It’s a fabrication from starting to finish,” Kenney mentioned Thursday.
On Wednesday, the Western Commonplace revealed a narrative alleging “booze-fueled covert dinners have been taking place since January” involving the premier at Italian restaurant Bottega 104.
The web site cited nameless authorities sources, and sought remark from the premier’s workplace shortly earlier than publishing.
Later that day, the premier’s lawyer Steven A.A. Dollansky issued a stop and desist order, calling the story “false and defamatory,” demanding the story be taken down with an apology and retraction issued.
“Premier Kenney, Minister Nixon and Minister Shandro haven’t attended any indoor dinners at Bottega 104 (or some other restaurant) whereas indoor eating was prohibited by public well being restrictions,” the letter reads.
International Information has not verified any of the claims made within the Western Commonplace article.
Kenney says there was ‘stress’ within the UCP however believes celebration will transfer ahead collectively
In an e-mail to International Information, Western Commonplace writer and president & CEO of Western Commonplace New Media Corp. Derek Fildebrandt mentioned the outlet stands by the story.
“Our reporters did their due diligence in cross-verifying sources. We imagine this story to be within the public curiosity,” Fildebrandt wrote.
“If the premier wished to problem any side of the Western Commonplace’s story, he or his workers ought to have responded to our direct questions. If we really feel a correction is warranted, we’ll make one.”
Fildebrandt was as soon as seen as a rising star in Alberta’s Conservative political panorama, first as an MLA with the Wildrose Occasion and later the United Conservative Occasion.
He launched the Freedom Conservative Occasion in 2018 after he was turfed from the UCP following expense scandals and court docket troubles. He stepped away from the celebration in 2019, citing a want to depart politics.
Thursday afternoon at a COVID-19 briefing, the premier mentioned when he dined out at eating places, it was when public well being orders allowed it and solely along with his two private contacts.
“That restaurant (Bottega 104) I’ve solely ever visited twice in my life,” Kenney mentioned. “I believe as soon as was two-and-a-half years in the past once I was chief of the Opposition, and the final time was with a colleague for a rule-compliant lunch in July of final 12 months.”
The story comes two days after the premier apologized for being photographed whereas eating with ministers Nixon, Shandro and different workers, apparently not masked or distanced on the balcony of the so-called Sky Palace: the nickname for the highest ground of the Federal Constructing, which is adjoining to the Alberta legislature.
International Information reached out to the restaurant in query for remark. A response was not obtained earlier than publishing.
© 2021 International Information, a division of Corus Leisure Inc.