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Opposition party calls for Redford to step aside over conflict of interest accusation
Julia Parrish, CTV Edmonton
Published Thursday, November 29, 2012 5:41PM MST
Last Updated Thursday, November 29, 2012 6:34PM MST
The leaders of two opposition parties are calling for the premier to answer to accusations of a conflict of interest, involving the selection of a law firm to represent the province in a multi-billion dollar lawsuit.
“I’m today calling on Premier Redford to step aside until the matter is properly investigated,” NDP Leader Brian Mason said.
The NDP is asking for Premier Alison Redford to step aside, while an investigation is conducted into allegations that Redford’s ex-husband’s law firm was chosen to represent Alberta in a $10 billion tobacco lawsuit – while she was Minister of Justice.
This, on the same day the Wildrose held a press conference at the Legislature – in it, the party distributed a package titled ‘Is the premier lying?’
The package contained memos and e-mails, showing Redford, who was Justice Minister at the time, said the best choice to represent the province in the massive suit was her former husband’s law firm.
“There is just too much evidence to let this go away,” Wildrose MLA Rob Anderson said. “There is no wiggling out of this she made the decision.”
On Wednesday, the premier was targeted with a number of questions on the issue – during question period she said:
“Mr. Speaker, the Government of Alberta made a decision on who to retain, I was not Justice Minister at the time, the government made that decision.”
In response, the government showed its own documents, which state the deal was not completed while Redford was Justice Minister, by the time it was finished, Redford had stepped down to run for premier.
MLA Verlyn Olsen signed off on the deal.
“The deal wasn’t made until way later, June I think,” Olsen said. “That was by my direction.”
The Wildrose Party has filed a complaint with the Ethics Commissioner on how the tobacco lawsuit tender was awarded.
With files from Kevin Armstrong
Alberta Premier Alison Redford speaks to the Canadian Bar Association's annual legal conference in Vancouver on Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012. (Darryl Dyck / THE CANADIAN PRESS)