Government backing Berger's election bid: Saskiw

EDMONTON, AB (August 20, 2012):  Alison Redford’s PC government is using taxpayer resources to support former cabinet minister Evan Berger’s bid to win back the Livingstone-Macleod seat in the 2016 provincial election, Wildrose Deputy House Leader Shayne Saskiw said today. 

Last week, Berger was quietly appointed to a highly paid senior government post in Agriculture and Rural Development – the department he used to lead as minister until Wildrose MLA Pat Stier defeated him in April. 

Berger has since indicated he will be active with the PC party in the lead up to the next election and has plans to win back his former seat. The job will pay Berger – who is also in line to receive nearly $150,000 in transition allowance – up to $158,000 a year. 

On the Rutherford Show today, (audio can be found between the 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. mark on Aug. 20), Saskiw blasted the PC government for its involvement in Berger’s election plans. 

“After 41 years in government the PCs think the rules apply to everyone else except for themselves and now we have an individual who is clearly going to be campaigning on the taxpayer dime,” Saskiw said.  “This is the worst form of the same old PCs – only in it for themselves instead of respecting the Alberta taxpayer.” 

Berger has admitted in an interview that the details of the job have yet to be “fleshed out.”

Saskiw went on to further call the hiring processes with the PC government a revolving door where taxpayers are asked to continue to foot the bill for PC insiders.  

“Evan Berger was the Agriculture Minister when he rehired the Deputy Minister.  So the guy that he hired is now hiring him for a job that never existed,” Saskiw said. “The last thing Albertans want is for the government to be growing the bureaucracy with useless positions to launch the campaign for a PC crony.” 

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