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Aura of power consumes PC committee members

EDMONTON, AB (February 17, 2015): Today’s Standing Committee on Legislative Offices was the latest example of PC MLAs falling victim to the aura of power emanating from Premier Jim Prentice’s office, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today. 

The meeting today was struck after PC members of the committee voted out-of-step with the wishes of the premier with regards to funding for the Auditor General’s (AG) office.  As the official Opposition, the Wildrose had no voting privileges on the committee after motion for membership, and a further motion to adjourn the meeting, were rejected.

“The Auditor General does an important job holding the government accountable. It’s ironic that the day PC members voted to draw back funding from the AG, they have fallen victim to the same ‘aura of power’ surrounding the premier’s office,” Wildrose Leader Heather Forsyth said.  “With no official Opposition members represented, today’s meeting was further sullied by the fact so-called independent MLAs had their votes pre-determined by the premier.”

Drumheller-Stettler MLA Rick Strankman, who presented the Wildrose motion at today’s committee, said the action taken by PC MLAs showed how truly undemocratic our government has become under PC rule.

“These committees are supposed to represent the make-up of the Legislature and ensure each party has a say through a vote on critical budget decisions that are made.  Sadly under Mr. Prentice, we are seeing a consistent pattern of undermining basic democratic principles,” Strankman said. “Today showed the complete abandonment of independence of the committee by PC MLAs, and a further example why Albertans deserve new, principled and committed leadership.”