Lawyer denies accusation that man leading Alberta oil inquiry is biased

Posted February 12, 2021 3:13 pm

A lawyer is decrying what he calls a “drive-by” accusation that the commissioner leading an inquiry into alleged foreign-funded anti-Alberta energy campaigns is biased.

Read more: Environmental law group challenges Alberta oil inquiry in court

David Wachowich has made submissions on behalf of forensic accountant Steve Allan, who the United Conservative government tapped in July 2019 to lead the inquiry.

Environmental law charity Ecojustice has argued that Allan’s support just months earlier for the election campaign of cabinet minister Doug Schweitzer shows he’s not independent.

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Wachowich says Ecojustice is cherry-picking from Allan’s long history in various political and community causes.

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Read more: Ecojustice lawsuit seeks to quash Alberta inquiry into oil and gas foes

Ecojustice has asked Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Karen Horner to shut down the inquiry, which it contends was set up to intimidate industry critics, has a predetermined outcome and is outside of Alberta’s jurisdiction.

Horner says she expects her decision to come before Allan’s May 31 deadline to submit his report to the Alberta government.

© 2021 The Canadian Press