Alberta premier faces questions over premature disclosure of state of emergency

By The Canadian Press

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith is facing questions after a leaked video depicts her informing United Conservative Party supporters before the public that her government was declaring a state of emergency due to wildfires.

The video, obtained by The Canadian Press, was taken at a party rally for UCP candidate Mickey Amery on Saturday afternoon in Calgary.

Smith was speaking in her role as party leader ahead of the May 29 election.

The video shows Smith telling supporters she’s giving them a little bit of inside information.

Smith is heard saying the supporters are the first to hear about it and that she has to head off to a press conference to announce the state of emergency.

Later at the press conference, Smith, in her role as premier, announced the declaration allowing the province to obtain emergency funding and other supports.

Smith’s spokesman declined to address questions over the disclosure but reiterated that Smith’s emergency management cabinet committee made the decision before the news conference.

Smith’s office says it also informed the Opposition NDP, however the NDP did not publicly discuss the decision until after Smith’s announcement.

Smith, like all members of cabinet, swore an oath when taking office to hold cabinet decisions in confidence until the information is officially made public.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 8, 2023.

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