December 05, 2012

QP: CORRECTING THE RECORD: Redford having trouble telling the truth

EDMONTON, AB (December 5, 2012): PC CLAIM: Responding to a question from Wildrose Official Opposition Leader Danielle Smith about scrapping an agreement in principle with the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) after the election, Premier Alison Redford stated, “After that election, one of the parties, not the government of Alberta, decided to renege on that agreement.”

FACT: The Wildrose Official Opposition does not claim to have been privy to the negotiations, but the AMA ad released yesterday makes it clear that the AMA believes that the Alberta government backtracked from their commitment on the agreement, “Shortly after the April election, the government rescinded their support for this agreement that they had signed and pulled it off the table.”  Either Redford is not telling the truth, or she is claiming that the AMA is not telling the truth. 

PC CLAIM: Responding to a question from Smith on the cost of family care clinics, Redford referred to costs lined out by the Wildrose as, “numbers thrown around with no support.”  

FACT: The estimated cost for each of the three pilot projects being operated in Edmonton and Calgary currently cost $5 million dollars a year.  So far Redford and Horne have only claimed that money for new clinics will come from in-year savings, with Horne admitting that the costs for staffing these facilities are “unknown at this time.” 

PC CLAIM: Responding to a question from Smith about expanding the current health inquiry to include doctor intimidation as Redford once promised, she claimed that, “We [the government] kept our promise.”  

FACT: Redford, days before calling the health inquiry, stated that claims of doctor intimidation have to be investigated.  Days later, she broke her promise.   

PC CLAIM: Responding to a question from Wildrose MLA Shayne Saskiw asking if the contingency package offered to JSS for a tobacco litigation contract was the lowest of all proposals looked at while she was Minister of Justice, Redford responded, “I am absolutely pleased to stand up in this House and say that I can’t answer that question because I didn’t make the decision.”  

FACT:  Just because the Premier insists she did not make the decision doesn’t make it true, the facts of the case could not be any clearer.

  • As Justice Minister, Redford personally signed a memo awarding the contract to ITRL, saying “… the best choice for Alberta will be the International Tobacco Recovery Lawyers.” (Dec. 14, 2010)
  • A memo from Assistant Deputy Minister Grant Sprague to Deputy Minister Ray Bodnarek saying, “Shortly before Christmas, Minister Redford selected the International Tobacco Recovery Lawyers.” (Jan. 13, 2011)
  • Letters of rejection from the Justice department to the unsuccessful firms that say, “the quality of proposals made the assessment of the proposals very challenging. It became obvious that each proposal had their own unique qualities. I regret to advise that your proposal was not successful.” (Dec. 22, 2010)
  • An e-mail from Sprague to Lorne Merryweather, the Executive Director of Litigation at Justice, saying “Call made to Karsten (sic) Jensen at the successful consortium.”
  • An e-mail from Carsten Jensen, partner of one of the firms in the ITRL consortium, to the Justice department saying, “We were very happy to learn that we will be working with you on the health care recovery claim.” (Jan. 6, 2011) 

Further, in a memorandum directed to her Deputy Minister, Redford clearly states that, “while no consortium stood above the others, all three have unique strengths and weaknesses,” revealing she clearly had knowledge of what proposals were on the table.


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