EDMONTON, AB (December 4, 2013): Today, Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith released the following statement on Ethics Commissioner Neil Wilkinson’s ruling into Premier Alison Redford’s involvement in the Tobaccogate scandal: “It is truly disturbing that Mr. Wilkinson did not find a conflict of interest on Premier Redford’s part when he found that ‘clearly she took part in a decision’ to award the government’s tobacco litigation contract to a law firm with close personal ties to herself and the PC party.
Wilkinson’s finding that she was involved in the decision means Premier Redford very clearly misled Albertans when she vigorously insisted she wasn’t involved in the decision. “Premier Redford’s insistence that she wasn’t involved in the decision has now been proven to be false and she owes all Albertans an apology. “The fact that Mr. Wilkinson has overlooked the Premier’s involvement in the awarding of the contract means his credibility as an impartial, unbiased and independent officer is even further eroded. Further, in his ruling, Mr. Wilkinson chastised opposition leaders for submitting information to his office that he himself requested, claiming it endeavoured to ‘influence’ his investigation. Indeed, considering his well-documented past support of the PC party and his highly questionable rulings in favour of other PC MLAs, we have no doubt that Mr. Wilkinson is partial to the PC party. “Mr. Wilkinson has recently launched personal attacks on the opposition both in the media and at legislative committee meetings. He continues to fight our FOIP requests to access his personal expenses while he was the CEO at Capital Health. He has lost all credibility with our caucus, as well as with a vast majority of Albertans, and he can no longer be trusted to carry out his duties. “As such, Wildrose MLAs will no longer be meeting with Mr. Wilkinson for any reason, nor will we submit any documentation to his office. As soon as possible, Wildrose will table a motion in the Legislature to have Mr. Wilkinson removed as Ethics Commissioner.”