A Progressive Conservative MLA is appealing a decision by a Conservative Party of Canada committee to disqualify him as a nomination candidate in the newly created Edmonton-West federal riding, according to reliable sources.
(see updates below)
If Mr. Xiao’s disqualification is upheld by the Conservative Party National Council, it is expected that Edmonton hotel manager Kelly McCauley will be acclaimed as the party’s candidate for the next federal election.
Mr. Xiao’s candidacy has been endorsed by provincial Health Minister and Edmonton-Whitemud by-election candidate Stephen Mandel, former premier Ed Stelmach and provincial cabinet ministers Jonathan Denis and Manmeet Bhullar.
Since his election in 2008, Mr. Xiao has served as the parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Energy, Minister of Transportation and the Minister of Employment and Immigration. He faced public criticism after claiming travel expenses of nearly $35,000 in 2012, even though his constituency is located in Edmonton, Alberta’s provincial capital.
The Conservative Party is expected to respond to Mr. Xiao’s appeal this week.
Contributing to more potential controversy, a lawyer representing Mr. Xiao recently informed Wildrose Official Opposition leader Danielle Smith and Innisfail-Sylvan Lake Wildrose MLA Kerry Towle that he planned to issue notices under Alberta’s Defamation Act.
Potentially connected to the legal threats, Mr. Xiao publicly denied statements made by the Wildrose opposition about his relationship with the McClung Family Association.
UPDATE (October 15, 2014): Mr. Xiao has released a statement confirming he is appealing his disqualification as a nomination candidate by the Conservative Party in Edmonton-West.
UPDATE (October 16, 2014): According to reliable sources, Mr. Xiao’s appeal has been rejected by the Conservative Party of Canada National Council. Mr. McCauley is expected to be acclaimed as the candidate in Edmonton-West.