EDMONTON, AB (August 22, 2012): Defeated PC cabinet minister Evan Berger should not be allowed to accept his transition allowance of almost $150,000 after receiving a soft-landing patronage appointment in his former department, Wildrose Deputy House Leader Shayne Saskiw said.
Berger’s new post in Agriculture and Rural development will pay him a salary of up to $150,000 including pension and benefits. Saskiw said Berger should reject his transition allowance out of respect for Alberta taxpayers. “These allowances were intended to help MLAs to transition back into private life, not to pad the piggy banks of PC cronies lined up at the trough,” Saskiw said. “This is a consistent pattern in this 41-year-old government where PC government members and officials are entrenched in a culture of entitlement while sucking the taxpayer dry.” Saskiw also said accepting the transition allowance while collecting the salary would be further evidence that the government is supporting Berger’s plans to win back the Livingston-Macleod seat in the 2016 election. “Berger owes it to Albertans to explain why he thinks he’s entitled to such a lavish sum while at the same time collecting a huge salary for a made-up government job,” Saskiw said. “If he wants to get elected in 2016, he should stop using Alberta taxpayers to finance his campaign.”