October 24, 2012

QP: CORRECTING THE RECORD: PCs keep spinning on RRSPs, Merali and Wildrose infrastructure policy

PC CLAIM: In response to a question from Wildrose Official Opposition Leader Danielle Smith asking the Premier to kill the idea of the PCs’ $1,000-a-month RRSP hike, Finance Minister Doug Horner insinuated the government could do nothing about it and said the Member’s Services Committee “is a committee of the Legislature, not a government committee.” 

FACT: While true, this has not prevented Premier Alison Redford from dictating to her committee members on the transition allowance (though they seem reluctant to carry out her wishes). Wildrose simply wants Redford to do the same on the PCs’ $1,000-a-month RRSP hike. 

PC CLAIM: Responding to a question from Smith on how the scandal-plagued Allaudin Merali was hired by the PC cabinet to be the province’s controller, Horner said “We did not hire him.” 

FACT: Horner himself, as Treasury Board President, recommended Merali to the controller post and Merali was appointed controller through an Order in Council on March 15. OC 115/2012 states: The Lieutenant Governor in Council 1 appoints Allaudin Merali as Controller; 2 rescinds Order in Council numbered O.C. 458/2011. For Information only Recommended by: President of Treasury Board and Enterprise Authority: Financial Administration Act (section 9); Public Service Act (section 18) 

PC CLAIM: In response to a question from Wildrose Education Critic Bruce McAllister about school construction, Education Minister Jeff Johnson said Wildrose would “cut $1.7 billion out of the capital budget.” 

FACT: Wildrose has long advocated stretching out (not cutting) the capital plan an extra year in order to lessen the annual budgetary burden of infrastructure projects. The result would have been $1.6 billion in savings in Budget 2012 while still keeping pace with infrastructure spending in Ontario, BC and Quebec. Horner himself has advocated such an approach, quoted as saying that if energy prices don’t rebound, “capital spending plans can be deferred.”


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