EDMONTON, AB (April 27, 2012): Premier Alison Redford’s record on open and transparent government took another hit today after the ethics probe into Gary Mar’s fundraiser was released publicly just days after the election. Mar – Redford’s hand-picked Asia representative – was investigated after auctioning off a trip to his Hong Kong government office at a personal fundraiser earlier this year organized to help him pay off PC leadership debts.
The trip reportedly fetched $20,000. “Regardless of the report, this transaction involving Mr. Mar doesn’t pass the smell test,” Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith said. “Ms. Redford should force Mr. Mar to repay the $20,000 as a condition of remaining on the job.” During the campaign it was reported that Mar had been reinstated to his position by Redford’s deputy minister, Peter Watson, well before the televised Leaders’ debate. At the time, the PC campaign and Redford insisted they had seen nothing of the report despite the close connections with the Premier’s office. Wildrose MLA Rob Anderson criticized Redford for fumbling the Mar file from the start by keeping the report behind closed doors and by handing out a patronage posting in the first place. “Redford is building a reputation of wanting to keep the public in the dark, whether it’s her time as Justice Minister creating laws that shroud illegal donation investigations into secrecy, or punting important issues until after the election,” Anderson said. “It’s time to hold an open and transparent competitive process for international offices instead of continuing on with the PC pattern of giving plum patronage postings to party officials.” The Wildrose Caucus stands for free enterprise, less government, increased personal freedom and democracy