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PCs must assure Albertans that they are respecting democracy

FORT MCKAY, AB (July 9, 2014): After reports indicating an unelected PC leadership candidate is undermining the current premier and interfering with the business of government, Wildrose called on Premier Dave Hancock to reassure Albertans that only sworn-in members of cabinet are making executive decisions.

Leadership contender Thomas Lukaszuk has accused candidate Jim Prentice of compromising the independence of Premier Hancock and other cabinet ministers.

“These accusations indicate the PCs are playing fast and loose with the integrity of our executive by letting an unelected individual influence the business of government behind the scenes,” Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith said. “Already the priorities of Albertans are taking a back seat to the leadership race, but now it’s being suggested that a PC Leadership candidate who hasn’t been elected to anything is calling the shots.”

“Premier Hancock needs to assure Albertans that cabinet confidences aren’t being violated, that no one outside of cabinet is controlling the cabinet agenda and that no important decisions are being delayed or rescheduled at the request of individuals who are not on the Executive Council,” said Smith.

Prentice’s continued role on corporate boards poses further ethical complications given the allegation of interference, Smith added. Prentice has not relinquished his role as Senior Executive Vice-President and Vice-Chairman for CIBC, but has taken a leave of absence.**

“Mr. Prentice should immediately resign from all corporate boards to prevent the appearance of any conflict of interests,” said Smith.  “He is running to be Premier, and it is concerning that he is being accused of inappropriately influencing the cabinet while he still has top-level attachments to corporations with regulatory and business relationships with the Alberta government.”

**CORRECTION: Since this news release, the Jim Prentice campaign has indicated he has resigned from the board of CPR. While there is no record of this on CPR’s website or in media reports, we accept that Mr. Prentice stepped down from the CPR board sometime between May 14th 2014 when there were reports he would not step down and today. We regret the inaccuracy.