EDMONTON, AB (August 13, 2015): While Albertans are losing jobs by the thousands with the NDP piling on with damaging economic policies, Premier Rachel Notley has cemented the patronage appointment of a notorious NDP partisan insider from BC to a position at the top of the civil service, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.
In June, Wildrose sounded the alarm when Notley appointed John Heaney – a man known as “one of the most controversial figures” in the NDP government of Mike Harcourt – to the made up role Associate Deputy Minister of Policy and Planning. Notley’s chief spokesperson promised the appointment was for the short-term and that Heaney would be returning to British Columbia. Now, Noltey has instead promoted Heaney to a full Deputy Minister. Effective next Monday he will be the Deputy Minister of Policy Coordination and he will command a salary of over $287,000 from Alberta taxpayers.
“Never before in Alberta’s history has a purely partisan appointment happened at the top rank of the civil service,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “There’s no question this is the direct politicization of the senior civil service by the premier’s office. Appointing a partisan NDP strategist to a deputy minister position is outrageous.”
Heaney will be the second full Deputy Minister in the Premier’s department joining Deputy Minister of Executive Council Richard Dicerni. Heaney will be able to use his policy coordination position to insert partisanship into every other ministry in the government.
“This type of direct politicization of the non-partisan civil service is unacceptable,” Jean said. “Ms. Notley should be clear with Albertans about why her spokesperson misled Albertans in June, and why Mr. Heaney deserves a newly created position that will ding taxpayers for more than a quarter of a million dollars while families and businesses are struggling to navigate through these tough economic times.”