CALGARY, AB (March 9, 2012): Premier Alison Redford must dismiss, not merely suspend, Gary Mar from the position she appointed him to if reports that he used his taxpayer-funded post to line his own pockets prove true. Earlier today, it was reported by Global Calgary that Mar, Alberta's Asia Representative, sold a trip to Hong Kong for $20,000 to help repay his personal campaign debts after his failed bid to lead the Progressive Conservatives.
Click here to see the invitation to the event. Redford has ordered Mar to take a leave pending an investigation. Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith said Redford should fire Mar if he did indeed pocket money selling access to his government post. "If true, this is a serious breach of ethics and an obvious case of using political connections for personal financial gain. This is what the culture of corruption looks like," Smith said. "If these reports are indeed true, Ms. Redford needs to send a clear message that this kind of abuse of power will not be tolerated, and fire him. By keeping him in the position she appointed him to, she would be telling Albertans that such conduct is acceptable inside her government." Redford created the position for Mar and appointed him without an open job competition shortly after defeating him to become Premier. Smith said this raises serious questions Redford must answer, given today's revelations. "Did she invent this job so Mr. Mar could sell access to it in order to pay back his campaign debts? She didn't hesitate to appoint him and didn't bother trying to find anyone else to fill the job," Smith said. The Wildrose stands for free enterprise, less government, increased personal freedom and democracy.