March 21, 2016
New Executive Council Deputy Minister raises doubts: Wildrose
The appointment of an individual directly involved in the sky palace scandal raises doubts and calls into question the protection of newly appointed Deputy Minister of Executive Council Marcia Nelson during a recent Public Accounts Committee meeting, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.
Ms. Nelson was the Deputy Minister of Infrastructure during the sky palace scandal, and personally knew about former Premier Alison Redford’s plans while doing nothing to stop them. At a Public Accounts Committee meeting in February 2016, the NDP acting committee chair blocked questions being asked by Wildrose committee members to determine Ms. Nelson’s involvement and how expenditure control systems had failed in the sky palace scandal.
“Wildrose has serious concerns that the individual who seems to have looked the other way in the sky palace scandal is now the top civil servant for the provincial government,” Wildrose Shadow Democracy and Accountability Minister Jason Nixon said. “If they knew Ms. Nelson was going to be promoted they could have taken the opportunity to clear the air and demonstrate her integrity to Albertans.”
During the February Public Accounts Committee meeting, Wildrose members of the committee asked direct questions concerning the accountability of public servants who had direct knowledge of the sky palace plans. In response NDP MLA Heather Sweet blocked the line of questioning, and protected the senior civil servants from answering straightforward questions.
“I am sorry to say that it is now clear why the NDP Deputy Chair of the committee was protecting Ms. Nelson and other senior civil servants from answering questions related to one of the largest scandals in Alberta’s history,” Wildrose MLA Derek Fildebrandt said. “At the end of the day the civil service should be accountable to all Albertans, not to those in power. Ms. Nelson has already succumbed to the aura of power once, Albertans should be troubled by this appointment.”