A former Alberta justice minister allegedly hired an investigator to get a reporter’s phone call logs, aiming to find her sources for a story looking into whether his wedding broke COVID-19 restrictions, reported the Canadian Press.
David Wallace, who describes himself as a “fixer” who helps politicians solve problems, told the Canadian Press that the former minister, Jonathan Denis, hired him to dig up phone records for reporter Alanna Smith, who wrote about Denis’ wedding for the Calgary Herald in February 2021.
After first denying he had ever spoken to the fixer, Denis later admitted in an interview with a Calgary Herald columnist that he had paid Wallace, but said he never asked for phone logs.
Wallace told the Canadian Press that he did obtain phone logs and gave them to Denis, but claimed that he had obscured some identifying information before handing them over to the former minister.
Documents obtained by the Canadian Press appear to show two payments from Wallace to Denis for $5,350 and $1,180, with the second payment coming after Wallace emailed to say he had the logs. It’s unclear how Wallace obtained them.
According to Wallace, Denis believed that the story would be embarrassing for United Conservative Party whip Mike Ellis, who attended the wedding.
Denis, a lawyer, was a Progressive Conservative MLA from 2010 to 2015 and served as justice minister from 2012 to 2015.