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Prentice begins Premiership with more of the same

CALGARY, AB (September 17, 2014): After promising to put an end to appointments for political insiders, Premier Jim Prentice has shown he is just more of the same, appointing friends to senior, high-paying government positions with no competitive application process, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.

The new Senior Representative to the United States, Rob Merrifield, recently gave Prentice his personal endorsement to be leader of the PC party, “speaking as a personal friend of Jim’s.” 

Prentice’s campaign co-chair, Jay Hill, receives a newly created position as Senior Representative to Saskatchewan, British Columbia, the North and to the New West Partnership.

During his leadership campaign, Prentice promised, “the end of sweetheart contracts for political staff,” and, “when it comes to political appointments, qualifications will matter – connections won’t.”

“Mr. Prentice is showing that he’s just more of the same, and that absolutely nothing has changed with the PC government.  More patronage appointments, more broken promises, and more of the same from a tired and out-of-touch PC government,” Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith said. “Three days into the job, Mr. Prentice is already breaking key promises from his election campaign, awarding his closest friends and political insiders into high level positions in the Alberta government without even opening a competitive application process.”

After he won the leadership of the PC party, Prentice said, “Albertans will judge us by our integrity,” and Albertans, “expect their politicians to know the difference between right and wrong.”

“Mr. Prentice has shown that Albertans can no longer take him at his word,” Wildrose International and Intergovernmental Relations Critic Rod Fox said.

Fox said it is absurd to think that the only qualified individuals to serve Alberta’s interests abroad are personal friends of Premier Prentice and his campaign insiders.

“Albertans were promised an end to this type of cronyism and patronage to friends of the Premier and the PC party,” Fox said.  “Instead, we are seeing Mr. Prentice follow the well established pattern of this PC government to hand out plum positions to loyal campaign supporters.  Albertans have had enough.”