"Later today, to continue their defamatory attacks against me, my office staff, Alberta Crown Prosecutors, and the Alberta Public Service, the CBC intends to release an article about a conversation I had with an individual named Artur Pawlowski," tweeted Smith.
On February 9, Smith referenced the conversation where Pawlowski expressed frustration with pandemic-related public health orders.
"This should be no shock since I spent much time before and during my leadership campaign talking to hundreds of Albertans about COVID-related public health orders and violations," she said.
A Leger poll commissioned by Rebel News uncovered 73% of United Conservative Party supporters want pandemic prosecutions against pastors — including Pawlowski — and small businesses dropped by the Alberta government. Half of Albertans opposed such an amnesty, whereas 67% of UCP members overwhelmingly supported the initiative.
"As I previously stated, I had my staff work with the Ministry of Justice to determine if anything could be done to grant amnesty for those charged with non-violent, non-firearms COVID-related charges. As indicated in multiple interviews, I received a legal brief from the Ministry of Justice recommending against pursuing amnesty further as several matters involving this issue were and still are before the courts," conveyed Smith.
"I have followed that advice."
She contends that she never spoke with anyone from the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service, nor have any of her office's staff.
"Allegations to the contrary are defamatory and will be dealt with accordingly."
On January 25, Smith condemned the CBC for publishing a "defamatory article" on rumours her staff sent crown prosecutors emails about the Coutts blockade.
In a release from the Premier's Office (PO), they claim the article contains "baseless allegations" that an internal investigation by Alberta Justice proved false.
According to a Justice spokesperson, they did not find any electronic communication between the PO and the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service (ACPS). Smith said she's confident in its findings.
She previously called on the CBC to retract its "outrageous story" and formally apologize to the province, including non-partisan officials from the Alberta Public Service.
Chuck Thompson, head of public affairs for CBC, said then that the public broadcaster stands behind the journalism in its report despite running the story without seeing the emails.
While the premier publicly campaigned for seven months on exploring ways to grant legal amnesty for individuals charged with non-violent, non-firearms, pandemic-related violations, her office did not pursue amnesty after receiving a detailed legal opinion from the Ministry of Justice.
According to the release, all communications between the PO, Alberta Justice and public servants "have been appropriate" and "made through the proper channels."
"I am confident in the integrity and professionalism of my staff," said Smith. "That's why I am grateful for the non-partisan review completed this weekend by the Public Service Commission, which found no contact records between the premier's office and Crown prosecutors."
"An independent Crown prosecution service, free from political interference, is integral to preserving public confidence in the justice system."