Opposition won’t give up
Published Tuesday, December 4, 2012 6:38AM MST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 4, 2012 11:55AM MST
The opposing parties in the Alberta Legislature aren’t giving up easily after the Speaker ruled in favour of the Premier over a conflict of interest on Monday.
Alison Redford was cleared of any wrongdoing in her involvement with a major tobacco lawsuit that was being planned while she was Justice Minister.
The opposition raised the issue when they came across a number of memos and other documents that pointed to a possible conflict of interest because one of the law firms involved in the process employed Redford’s ex-husband.
Speaker Gene Zwozdesky said on Monday afternoon that he believed the premier’s version of events and that she did not mislead the legislative assembly saying, “There’s no misleading. There's no intent to mislead. So there's no mens rea, there’s no actual misleading.”
Zwozdesky noted the deal wasn't finalized until after Redford left the post in June 2011.
However, even though the Speaker has let Redford off the hook, the opposition isn’t accepting it.
“Apparently black is white and the sky is green. I didn’t know this until now, but apparently, according to Mr. Zwozdesky that is the case and we’re going to have to accept that. It doesn’t change the fact that Ms. Redford has misled Albertans on this issue,” said Rob Anderson of the Wildrose.
NDP critic Rachel Notley repeated Anderson’s disdain with the government, saying that Redford hasn’t been honest about her role with Albertans.
Several Wildrose MLAs even took action in the Legislature, walking out of Question Period when the Speaker wouldn’t allow any questions about the tobacco lawsuit.
Redford has stood her ground during the ordeal, saying she only suggested the law firm and her successor made the final decision.
A complaint has been filed with the Ethics Commissioner asking for an investigation.
“We believe this issue warrants a full public inquiry and we are calling on the Ethics Commissioner to use the powers he has to conduct one,” said Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith. “The integrity of our highest political office is at stake and Albertans are demanding to know the truth.”
The Liberals are asking that Redford step down until the investigation is completed.