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David Parker, founder of Take Back Alberta.Jude Brocke/The Globe and Mail

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith is attempting to distance herself from the leader of Take Back Alberta, a socially conservative organization that helped elevate her to power, after he made “inappropriate and hurtful” comments accusing federal Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre of infidelity.

Ms. Smith said Tuesday that she has told TBA founder David Parker to “get some help” and delete his X account, where he has recently posted derogatory comments about Mr. Poilievre and other political figures. She did not, however, distance herself from the organization. Critics have argued that the TBA’s right-wing tendencies, and Mr. Parker himself, have influence over her policy decisions.

“I just don’t want to be associated with that kind of commentary, and I don’t want to be associated with that kind of personal attack and bullying,” the Premier said at an unrelated press conference. “He doesn’t work for me. He’s not on my payroll. He doesn’t have a position on any of our boards of directors. He operates an independent organization.”

TBA affiliates, however, comprise at least half the board of Alberta’s governing United Conservative Party. The organization is rooted in COVID-19 grievances, with ties to the U.S.-Canada border blockade in February, 2022, and has indicated it wants to influence municipal elections, school boards and other institutions. The group is focused on personal liberty and freedom.

Mr. Parker downplayed his influence over Ms. Smith in his appearance on the Dean Blundell podcast posted Monday. He said she told him that he went “too far” with his social-media post. He did not elaborate but said the Premier told him to seek help and delete his X account.

“I am definitely not Danielle Smith’s boss, but I will say she’s not my boss either,” he said. “She has actively asked me to not do this interview.”

He said on the podcast that the Premier, a guest at his wedding last year, contacted him after he made a number of controversial statements in recent weeks, including about former Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi and Alberta New Democratic Party leadership candidate Sarah Hoffman. This past Friday, he targeted Mr. Poilievre and his wife, Anaida Poilievre.

Mr. Poilievre office did not respond to requests for comment from The Globe and Mail on Mr. Parker’s statements or on Ms. Smith’s response.

Mr. Parker said on the podcast that his post was not an attack on Mr. Poilievre but a “punch back” at Ms. Poilievre, whom he claimed has raised concerns about him.

“The Premier has made it clear in no uncertain terms that she thinks I am doing something bad,” he added. “Danielle Smith does not believe what I am doing is right, and I want to make that distinction because I understand that the media likes to tie us together, but in this regard, she has nothing to do with this and in fact directly opposes it.”

On Tuesday, Mr. Parker acknowledged in a Telegram message to TBA supporters that some people are sad that he went after Mr. Poilievre. He said people should leave the group if what he has said does not align with their beliefs.

“We need to be seen as principled and not ideological,” he posted. “If we are seen as simply radical right-wing extremists who blindly support every right wing politician no matter what they do, then the general public will be trained to isolate us.”

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