Alberta NDP hires staffer with violent criminal past

Rebel Staff

Alberta NDP hires staffer with violent criminal past

Rachel Notley just hired a Manitoba NDP activist with a violent criminal past to be one of Alberta’s highest public officials.

Notley hired Brent Michael Dancey to be the chief of staff to Shannon Phillips, Alberta’s controversial minister of environment and the status of women.

Dancey is a convicted criminal who was sentenced to nine months in jail for a brutal assault that sent a Regina man to the hospital.

According to court records from his preliminary inquiry, Dancey was part of a mob that relentlessly attacked a man, punching his head, back, chest and stomach. And when the victim fell down, Dancey continued assaulting him, punching and kicking him as he lay helpless on the ground.

For this shocking crime, Dancey was convicted in 1994 of assault causing bodily harm and was sentenced to nine months in jail. And the judge added on an additional ten-year prohibition order, banning Dancey from owning firearms or explosives even after his release from prison. You can see the court records of his conviction, jail sentence and prohibition order by clicking here.

According to court transcripts from his preliminary inquiry, Dancey was merciless towards his victim. Eyewitness Lisa Carmen testified that the victim was punched “everywhere… in the head and the back, the chest… the stomach.”

And even when the victim fell to the ground, Dancey didn’t stop. He continued to kick him brutally. Carmen couldn’t even count the number of blows. “Lots… I felt sorry for him. [The victim was] trying to… cover himself… his head or something.”

Dancey and a small mob had attacked the victim on the front steps of the victim's own mother’s home. As the victim tried to stagger into the house, Dancey went after him. According to Carmen, the victim “gets up and goes onto the drive… and then the next thing you know, I saw Brent on top of him again.”

“Brent was like – on top of him and he was – the other guy was – like bent over backwards… Brent was punching him in the head,” she testified.

The victim was bent over backwards on the hood of a vehicle, limp and helpless. According to court transcripts from his preliminary inquiry, Dancey punched him five more times.

Eyewitness Carmen said the victim looked “bad… bloody… like just full of blood… on his face… his nose.”

Another witness, Jason Gust, told the court that Dancey “picked [the victim] up and threw him on a car” and then punched him “in the stomach or on the face.” Gust said the victim “put up his arms to shield his face”.

And Kim Johnston told the court that even once the victim was on the ground, he was still “kicked in the head… ten – twelve – fifteen times.”

There were bystanders to this assault, begging Dancey and the mob to stop. According to Johnston, one woman “was bawling – walking around saying, “guys, stop, you guys stop, you guys stop.” Others in the mob did stop. But not Dancey.

Johnston told the court “I saw blood on [the victim’s] face when he was… laying on the ground.”

Constable Lance Davis testified that the victim’s “face was very swollen up. He has bruising around his entire head and his ears. He had a cut over his right eye… it looked pretty severe to me.”

Why did Notley hire a convicted criminal from Manitoba to run one of Alberta’s most important government departments?

Shouldn't a senior public official have the highest moral character and honesty?

Why did Notley keep Dancey’s criminal past a secret from Alberta voters? Or did Notley herself not even know?

Dancey’s resume is laughably thin — he briefly served as an advisor to the Manitoba NDP. Does Notley really believe that an unaccomplished NDP activist like Dancey, with his awful criminal record, is a better chief of staff than any law-abiding Albertan could be?

In addition to his duties running Alberta’s environment ministry, Dancey is the chief of staff responsible for the status of women. His responsibilities include addressing violence against women, and missing and murdered Aboriginal women. Why does Notley think a man who committed a violent crime himself can be trusted to protect other victims from violent criminals?

There are no good answers to these questions. Notley’s decision to hire Dancey is a disgrace. He simply must be fired.

Please SIGN OUR PETITION using the red buttons at the top and bottom of this page.

This isn’t about being left wing or right wing.

It’s about whether or not Alberta’s government should be run by convicted violent criminals, imported from other provinces.

Rachel Notley thinks it should.

Let’s tell her that Albertans won’t stand for it.

Click here to view the court record of Dancey's conviction. 

Click here to view the entire court transcript from the preliminary inquiry. 

UPDATE: Both the Edmonton Journal and Global News have picked up this story. They report that Dancey has received a pardon for his crime. The Rebel has sent detailed e-mail inquiries to Dancey and the premier’s office, but has not heard back.

As of Tuesday evening, 4,458 people have signed our petition. Add your name below.
SECOND UPDATE: The CBC is now reporting the story as well. They report that Dancey was pardoned in 2005, and that his file was sealed. 
As of Thursday morning, more than 5,000 people have signed our petition. Add your name below.
Sign the petition!

We demand that Premier Rachel Notley fire Brent M. Dancey as the chief of staff to the minister of environment and status of women. Dancey is a convicted violent criminal who was sentenced to nine months in jail, and banned for a further ten years from owning firearms and explosives, after he mercilessly beat a Regina man so badly he was sent to hospital.

Will you sign?