We BEAT the Alberta Elections Commissioner! (But there’s a catch, and it’s bad)

November 4, 2019:

Do you remember when the Alberta Elections Commissioner hired two ex-cops to investigate me, a journalist, for writing a book?

That’s right — Alberta NDP-appointed holdovers in the Alberta government took a run at me because I wrote a book that hurt Rachel Notley’s feelings.

Alberta’s Elections Commissioner — Lorne Gibson, a former activist known for personally suing Conservatives on his private time — was upset because I used lawn signs as a guerrilla marketing campaign (as well as a roadside billboard) to promote my book.

As a result, the government demanded my private editorial notes for the book and said that I’d be prosecuted for a serious offence if I didn’t hand them over.

Gibson appointed those two ex-cops to come after me. One of them was Ken Brander, a former Edmonton cop.

I thought we had free speech in Canada!

After months of legal wrangling, I finally have some great news: WE WON!

We beat the censors and free speech meddlers — we beat the Alberta Elections Commissioner! 

I was completely within the law. From the very beginning. This entire investigation was a witch hunt. But we won. That’s good news.

Unfortunately, though, this was only the first round — the war is not yet over.

Right in the middle of the Elections Commissioner’s final letter to us is one of the most ominous things you could possibly hear from a government official.

Gibson said:

“I encourage Sheila Gunn Reid to exercise caution in the manner in which she advertises her books during an election period. Fortunately for Sheila Gunn Reid, my office is only able to enforce the legislation as it is currently written.”

So even though I didn’t do anything wrong, I still have to be careful or the elections commissioner will come for me again? How creepy is that?

And he’s mad that he can only prosecute me for what’s illegal — not for what he wishes was illegal?

Gibson is drunk on power and that’s frightening.

You can see the full letter from Gibson here:

433734738-Gibson-Letter

But I still need your help.

Gibson harassed me for months and months, and in doing so, saddled us with tens of thousands of dollars in legal bills.

When I first reported on this harassment, we had already incurred roughly $48,000 in legal fees — which we’ve paid. But since then, our total bill has jumped to $75,000.

Unfortunately, we owe our hard-working free speech lawyers another $27,000.

I didn’t hear a peep from any so-called “free speech” groups while I was being threatened by the government for writing a book. In fact, the only people I could rely on were Rebel fans and viewers. Folks like you. 

So if you can pitch in to cover the costs of our remaining legal bills that we incurred to defend freedom of the press in Alberta, I’d truly appreciate it — whether it’s $20 or $200, it all helps!

Please use the form below to chip in.

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July 24, 2019:

I have some terrible news to share with you today.

NDP-appointed holdovers in the Alberta government are coming for me because I wrote a bestselling book that hurt Rachel Notley’s feelings. I am potentially facing tens of thousands of dollars in fines, and what the government officer involved calls “severe” consequences. But the biggest threat is to freedom of the press for all of us.

The government of Alberta has hired an ex-cop — two, actually — to investigate me, a journalist, for writing a book. In Canada in 2019. Not 1984. And now the government is demanding my private notes — saying I’ll be prosecuted for a serious offence if I don’t hand them over.

I want to be completely transparent with you. We have already spent $32,000 in legal fees fighting this up until now and we just received another bill for $16,000, so, all told, we are $48,000 deep in legal fees to fight for my free speech and my right to give you information about the government. That is a huge legal bill. But we have the best free speech lawyer in Alberta. And we will win — if we can see this through.

The trouble is, unlike the elections commissioner, we don’t have bottomless pockets constantly refilled by the taxpayer to bully people. We’re crowdfunded by people like you. We fight on — I fight on —  because people like you want me to.

But I need your help, now more than ever. I need your help to offset our ballooning legal bills.

Can you help me?

Do you stand for free speech? Do you stand for a free press? Or do you stand aside and say nothing because you don’t like me or my boss more than you like being able to say what you want and when you want without Big Brother weighing in?

I promise everyone today: we are going to resist every single attempt to bully, interrogate and intimidate me every step of the way, and, when we are done with these people and when we do win, it’s my hope that Rachel Notley’s terrible law will be struck down and the office of the elections commissioner as we know it will be no more.

If you can help me with this very important fight, please help by chipping in below.

Thank you.

Sheila Gunn Reid and The Rebel Team.

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