04/28/2015 01:02 EDT | Updated 06/28/2015 05:59 EDT

Prentice Won't Say Why Jamie Lall Was Nixed; Says It's Up To Him


CALGARY - A disqualified Progressive Conservative candidate says an old girlfriend took out a restraining order against him in 2007, but the party never told him if that played a role in his rejection.

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, but the party never gave a reason.

He said he did not hide anything during the vetting process, including the fact that a former girlfriend had been granted a restraining order due to alleged ongoing harassment and threats.

"The private investigator brought the name up. I said, 'Here's the name and number. Feel free to call her.'

"We were really, really young. She told them there's nothing here," said Lall, adding he and the woman remain close friends.

"We were of different faiths. Our parents got involved and that's all there was to it. It was embellished," Lall continued. "But again, if this was the reason, the party should have told me. ... I don't know why they wouldn't."

On Tuesday, Lall, who is running as an Independent in the Alberta election, 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 (disqualify) 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 colleagues including then-leader Danielle Smith, crossed the floor to the Progressive Conservatives in December.

Premier Jim Prentice refused to elaborate Tuesday on why Lall was disqualified.

"The nomination committee disqualified Mr. Lall for good reasons," he said at a campaign event in Calgary. "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."

He called McAllister a good candidate who is doing a fine job for his constituency.

Lall said he has nothing to hide and is still 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.

"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."

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