EDMONTON, AB (January 9, 2013): Instead of acknowledging the seriousness of yet another ethics investigation into Government actions, and specifically the Premier’s role in awarding a huge tobacco litigation contract, Justice Minister Jonathan Denis and the PC government would rather make petty and unfounded allegations against the Wildrose Official Opposition.
The Wildrose Official Opposition is asking that JSS Barristers involvement in the tobacco litigation lawsuit be suspended until the Ethics Commissioner completes his investigation into the Premier’s possible breach of the Conflict of Interest Act. Instead of showing Albertans that they received the best deal with possibly billions of dollars in contingency fees on the line, Minister Denis instead stated that this is evidence that the Wildrose doesn’t, “support the suit going forward,”and is, “in bed with big tobacco.” These statements are simply incorrect and false. Here are the facts: “We are not disputing the decision. We are disputing how the decision was made.” - Wildrose Official Opposition Leader Danielle Smith in the Legislative Assembly, December 4, 2012: “The issue at hand is not whether or not the Alberta government’s decision to recover health-care costs is the correct course of action, rather how the contract was rewarded.” - In a letter recently delivered to Minister Denis’ office by Wildrose Justice Critic Shayne Saskiw. “There are potentially billions of dollars on the line in contingency fees and this Minister insists on keeping Albertans in the dark on whether or not they received the best deal,” Saskiw said. “Instead of making up stories about the Opposition, the Minister and the government should focus on cleaning up this deep ethical mess they’ve put themselves in.”