Opposition calls for investigation into executive expenses
Published Monday, November 19, 2012 5:38PM MST
Last Updated Monday, November 19, 2012 6:34PM MST
There was plenty of finger pointing and fireworks at the Alberta Legislature on Monday after a freedom of information request revealed a health official spent thousands of dollars on partisan activities and events.
The Official Opposition is calling for an investigation saying that the Conservative party continues to break the rules when it comes to paying its bills. “If you go to partisan political functions, you do that on your own dime, that's my view and that's my read of the law,” said Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith.
Smith says Alison Redford's sister, Lynn, who was a relations advisor for the former Calgary Health Region, spent hundreds of dollars on conservative events and fundraisers and then billed taxpayers for the cost.
The expenses in question date back to between 2005 and 2008 – and show she expensed $7,668.28, and of that, almost half ($3,448.14) was spent in relation to political activities.
“New evidence that points to a shocking lack of judgment as to what is appropriate expense and what is not,” Opposition leader Danielle Smith said. “This evidence shows repeated incidents of health care resources being used to support party events, and partisan activities.”
Smith said the documents should be enough to push the government to widen their review of executive health expenses.
This is the latest example of government agencies giving money to the conservatives going back several years and involving colleges and universities among others.
“This is the culture of campaign finance under a party that has been in power for a really, really long time, it's interesting to note that Alberta has really lax campaign financing rules, probably the most lax in Canada,” said Melanee Thomas from the University of Calgary.
The latest revelations pre-date Redford’s time in office and the Health Minister says the rules have changed, to prevent this from happening again.
“I am very comfortable as minister that the rules are in place, people are aware of them and they are being followed,” said Fred Horne.
Lynn Redford is currently the Provincial Officer for Executive Special Projects with Alberta Health Services.
(With files from edmonton.ctvnews.ca)