EDMONTON, AB (August 24, 2012): Premier Alison Redford’s recent endorsement of Evan Berger’s patronage appointment shows that Redford is totally out of touch with Albertans and is only interested with business as usual in rewarding PC insiders, Wildrose Deputy House Leader Shayne Saskiw said today.
Evan Berger was awarded the position of “senior policy advisor” in the department of Agriculture and Development, after getting tossed out of office by voters in the last provincial election in the riding of Livingstone-Macleod. Despite Berger’s appointment flying in direct violation of conflict of interest legislation, Redford boasted yesterday that, “Mr. Berger is an incredibly qualified person who is going to serve the department very well.” Further, she went on to elaborate that Berger, “has a very important perspective on issues that matter to this government.” “Redford’s comments confirm that her 41 year old government hasn't changed. It is more of the same old school politics- they're only in it for themselves,” Saskiw said. “It is completely unacceptable that the Premier is signing off on this plum patronage appointment that is billing Albertans for hundreds of thousands of dollars to reward PC insiders.” Government officials up to this point have insisted that members of Cabinet did not have a role in the hiring, but Saskiw argued that with Redford’s most recent comments it raises serious questions of whether or not Berger’s hiring came right from the top. "Premier Redford can no longer be taken seriously when she talks about accountability. It is clearly just empty rhetoric,” Saskiw said. “She continues to let the entrenched culture of entitlement fester, doesn't believe the rules apply to them and, so far, her Minister of Accountability, Transparency and Transformation is Minister of the Status Quo.”