EDMONTON, AB (September 12, 2012): The recent hiring of former PC cabinet minister Ron Liepert by an Alberta based lobbying firm is another ethical lapse by an out of touch PC government, Wildrose Deputy House Leader Shayne Saskiw said today.
The lobbying group is a government relations firm that provides advice for companies dealing with the provincial government. The firm has said Liepert will abide by the one-year cooling off period for former cabinet ministers that prohibits lobbying government during that period. However, Saskiw said that Liepert’s hiring fails to pass the smell test. “It’s hard to believe that Liepert would not use high placed connections with long-time PC insiders to not lobby the government he has been part of for decades,” Saskiw said. “This is how the revolving door system of soft landings works after 41 years of the same party in power. But that’s why the conflict of interest legislation needs to be strengthened and the office of the Ethics Commissioner needs to have the teeth to enforce the law.” Liepert was a controversial minister who authored latest Alison in Wonderland budget that produced another record deficit. He centralized health services into the superboard and brought in legislation that forced teachers to break their contract. “Liepert has a close relationship with the Premier and this government. We hope the ethics commissioner takes a closer look at this case.”