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Redford flouting the law to hide severance payout: Smith

EDMONTON, AB (October 10, 2013): Premier Alison Redford’s unprecedented decision to defy the instructions of Alberta’s Privacy Commissioner’s Office to release the details of the severance package paid out to her former chief of staff, is another insult to the Premier’s commitment to transparency, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.  

As reported yesterday by Global News, Redford’s office is refusing to release details around the severance paid to her former chief of staff Stephen Carter, who voluntarily left his position to run the PCs election campaign in 2012. Carter had held the position for about six months.  According to Global, the Premier’s Office first refused a Freedom of Information request for details on his severance and then inexplicably refused to comply a second time when Privacy Commissioner’s Office explained the precedents and instructed the release of the information.  “The Premier is flouting the law.  The precedents here are very clear,” Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith said. “This is Premier Redford ignoring the rule of law in order to cover up what must be a large taxpayer-funded payout to her friend and PC campaign manager.”  In an August 2012 speech, Premier Redford said, “We need to keep raising the bar on accountability and transparency,” and, “if what we are doing doesn’t pass the highest levels of scrutiny, we shouldn’t be doing it.”   “This case doesn’t pass any level of scrutiny.  This is more evidence that the words of the PCs and their actions simply don’t line up,” Smith added. “This is a simple matter of public interest. Alberta’s law states that taxpayers have a right to see this information as ordered by Alberta’s Privacy Commissioner, and this PC government is flouting the law to keep it a secret.”