Kamikaze Campaign Manager, Kudatah Leader Go Ahead With Multibillion Dollar Project Endorsed By Jason Kenney
Jason Kenney expressed support for the multibillion dollar biofuel project
The campaign manager behind the UCP’s “Kamikaze” scandal and the leader of the 2016 “Kudatah” to overthrow the Notley government are teaming up to launch a $2 billion biofuel project which already has Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s blessing.
Randy Kerr, who managed the campaign of UCP leadership candidate Jeff Callaway, has joined Alberta Biobord CEO George Clark, a colourful Kenney supporter who also volunteered for Callaway, to launch a proposed factory manufacturing medium density fibreboard (MDF).
Clark made headlines in 2016 after holding a press conference in a Wal-Mart parking lot announcing a plan to overthrow then-Premier Rachel Notley in a plot dubbed the “kudatah” — a misspelling of “coup d’etat.”
The project, called Alberta Biobord, includes plans to build a fuel pellet plant near Stettler, Alberta as part of its first phase, followed by a plant to manufacture medium density fibreboard.
In an interview with PressProgress, Biobord CEO George Clark said he is releasing 125,000 shares to supporters in hopes to crowdfund $36 million to complete phase one.
“We are being very careful not to step outside of any of the investor’s requirements in the spending of that money,” Clark told PressProgress.
Clark said shovels could be in the ground as soon as July.
Clark is aiming to raise $750 million to reach phase two and an additional $1.2 billion to reach phase three.
Kenney publicly expressed his support for the project following Clark and Kerr’s announcement in Stettler, Alberta last month.
Great to see more progress on the @AlbertaBiobord plant in Stettler that will create hundreds of jobs in the region. https://t.co/43gG6s855t
— Jason Kenney (@jkenney) May 15, 2021
Kerr was set to run as a UCP candidate in Calgary-Beddington until the party removed him for not being ‘forthcoming” about his contributions to the leadership run of Callaway, which fell under investigation by the RCMP Serious Crimes Unit over more than $40,000 in suspicious donations to the “stalking horse candidate.”
“I helped introduce Jeff (Callaway) around Alberta on his road tour and I provided him with strategy input as part of a group that were offering such input,” Clark said regarding his previous work with Kerr.
“I reported to Jeff and helped Jeff Park and Randy Kerr in trying to garner support and media attention,” Clark recalled. “I reported to Jeff (Callaway) and helped Jeff Park and Randy Kerr in trying to garner support and media attention.”
Clark said he supported Callaway despite being a Kenney supporter because he wanted to ensure the UCP still had “right-leaning candidates” in case “something had happened” to Kenney during the campaign.
Callaway’s campaign allegedly funnelled illegal donations for the sole purpose of attacking Kenney’s main rival, Brian Jean, in the 2017 UCP leadership race.
In August 2019, Clark confirmed to PressProgress he had been questioned by a special RCMP unit investigating the Jason Kenney UCP leadership campaign. Clark said he agreed to do the hour-long videotaped interview with elite RCMP investigators without the presence of a lawyer because he had “not done anything wrong.”
Kerr, now Biobord’s VP of Corporate Relations, was slapped with $10,000 in fines by Alberta’s Elections Commissioner for laundering donations to Callaway’s campaign using “funds given or furnished by another person” as part of the investigation into alleged fraud surrounding the campaign.
Despite Kerr’s removal as a UCP candidate and involvement in the kamikaze scandal, the project has been looking to the Alberta government for help.
Lobby records show a November 2020 meeting between Biobord and a number of government ministries, including the ministries of energy and the environment, which was facilitated by Kerr’s own lobby firm RK Strategies and discussed “non-fiscal assistance” from the government.
Clark confirmed to PressProgress he was granted an audience with Environment Minister Jason Nixon to discuss the project.
An earlier meeting happened in January of that year to discuss, among other things, possible government TIER funding for the project, but Clark, the company’s CEO, said no government funding has yet been applied for.
Clark stressed he has not had meetings with Kenney to discuss the Biobord project.
“I don’t have a special relationship with Kenney more than anyone else, anyone in the UCP,” Clark noted. “All of my engagements with Premier Kenney are public.”
“I’ve had one meeting with him that I arranged that wasn’t even for my benefit,” Clark recalled. “It was for the eagle spirit pipeline in 2019. That was the only time I ever engaged him as a politician. We don’t have a direct personal relationship. I don’t know his cell number.”
Clark said he hopes to bring in a partner for later phases of the project, but for now certain details remain under wraps.
“We’re not flipping the whole game plan yet,” Clark said.
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