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Alberta elections commissioner fines United Conservative leadership candidate

PHOTO. Former Alberta Wildrose leader Brian Jean ,left, and at the time, Alberta PC leader Jason Kenney when they announced the creation of the United Conservative Party. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

One of the candidates in Alberta’s 2017 United Conservative leadership race has been hit with $70,000 in fines for breaking fundraising rules.

The penalty against Jeff Callaway is for two dozen separate offences and includes a $15,000 fine for colluding to circumvent contribution limits.

Callaway has also been fined for accepting prohibited contributions, and for giving money to third parties who in turn donated that money back to his campaign.

Callaway was one of three candidates who ran against Jason Kenney for the UCP’s top job.

Documents and correspondence have indicated that the Callaway and Kenney teams worked together to undermine Kenney’s main rival, former Wildrose Party leader Brian Jean.

Callaway quit before the vote and backed Kenney, who won the race.

Kenney became premier when he led the party to victory in April’s election, but he has dismissed any collaboration with Callaway as traditional politics.