AIRDRIE, AB (April 1, 2014): Today, Wildrose Finance Critic Rob Anderson, called on the PC government to request an immediate RCMP investigation into whether any government MLA, cabinet minister, or other public official committed a breach of trust under the criminal code or broke other federal and provincial laws by subverting legal government approval processes in order to increase the size and scope of the Federal Building renovation.
Last week, it was revealed that former Premier Alison Redford’s executive assistant Ryan Barberio directly altered plans to the Federal Building’s redevelopment project to include a personal luxury suite for the Premier. The redevelopment would have also included a private elevator and an alumni lounge for former PC MLAs. The Federal Building project has been underway for almost five years and will cost taxpayers $375 million, $100 million more than first announced in 2008. “If we are to believe what some cabinet ministers are saying to the media, an unelected public official interfered with and expanded a major government infrastructure project. There are legislated government approval processes that govern how changes to spending decisions are made,” Anderson said. “Those laws do not appear to have been followed.” “Something very serious has occurred here that could be criminal in nature, and it may involve the former Premier, cabinet ministers, and senior government officials. It is imperative this matter be fully investigated by law enforcement. If there is criminality, charges should be laid. If no criminality is found, either a judicial inquiry or full investigation by Alberta's Auditor General must be held to identify how this egregious action was permitted, who was involved, and how to ensure it can never happen again.” Anderson also said the PC “SkyPalace” calls into question virtually every major infrastructure project on the province’s books. “If it was this easy for a government project to be manipulated and expanded, how can Albertans have any confidence whatsoever that such gross abuse isn’t occurring with other projects or decisions to approve certain capital projects over others?” Anderson said. “The PCs are borrowing $5 billion this year to build infrastructure despite record revenues, and we are now seeing an approval process so flawed that luxury suites, PC alumni lounges and private elevators can be slipped into the infrastructure budget without even following proper protocols.”