NEWS
04/28/2015 17:08 EDT | Updated 06/28/2015 01:12 EDT

Prentice won't say why PC nomination candidate nixed; says it's up to him

CALGARY - Premier Jim Prentice says the party had good reason to disallow a Progressive Conservative nomination to a candidate in a southern Alberta constituency, but the man who was rejected says he was never given an explanation.Jamie Lall says he was told by The Tories he couldn't run against former Wildrose member Bruce McAllister in Chestermere-Rockyview east of Calgary.On Tuesday, Lall released texts from PC party executive director Kelley Charlebois and former justice minister Jonathan Denis."Don't want you in Chestermere," reads one text from Charlebois.A text sent by Denis in March warned Lall not to talk to an individual hired by the PC party to vet potential candidates."Do not talk to him further," said the text. "They're trying to find any reason to DQ you."In another text, Denis offered a further warning."Buddy, you are being set up. Any further communication is with a lawyer."Lall wanted to challenge McAllister who, with eight of his Wildrose party colleagues including then-leader Danielle Smith, crossed the floor to the Progressive Conservative government in December."People send all kinds of emails. The nomination committee disqualified Mr. Lall for good reasons," said Prentice at a campaign event Tuesday."They did their job and I stand by the decision they made. The reasons were communicated to Mr. Lall and only he can speak to the reasons."Prentice said the party had hundreds of individuals who wanted to run for the PCs in next Tuesday's election and only a "small handful" were disqualified. He called McAllister a good candidate who is doing a fine job for his constituency.Lall, who has decided to run as an Independent candidate, said he has nothing to hide and is still left in the dark."We could do this for the next 10 years. We really could," he said in a phone interview. "I have not received anything. To this day, I have not received documentation. I haven't received an email."Lall said with the election campaign entering its final week he thought it was time to speak out about what happened."The innuendo has really, really done a lot of damage," he said. "Finally this last weekend I said, 'You know what? Enough is enough. I'm not going to just sit around here and have my character destroyed.'"NDP Leader Rachel Notley declined to comment."You know, as fun as that kind of stuff is, I think I'm going to let Jim Prentice focus on the less-than-positive discussions within his party and I'm going to focus more on talking to Albertans," she said.Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter