EDMONTON, AB (November 27, 2012): Wildrose Official Opposition Leader Danielle Smith is today calling on Premier Alison Redford to be more accountable to Albertans by spending less time traveling when the Legislature is in session and spending more time in the House answering questions for Albertans.
Smith suggested Redford adopt a British-style Prime Minister’s question time in which she would set aside one Question Period a week to answer all questions from the opposition parties. Redford has been in the Legislature just 11 days out of 20 since the April election and will have missed five of the last six Question Periods after today. By comparison, Prince Edward Island Premier Joe Ghiz has attended 19 out of 21 Question Period days this year and Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter has attended all 14 Question Period days this year. Former Premier Ralph Klein, after his first election in 1993, attended 20 of the first 22 Question Periods in the first five weeks of the fall session. “Wildrose believes the Premier should be accountable to Albertans and that means answering questions about her government’s record and standing up to scrutiny,” Smith said. “Premier Redford said she wanted to ‘raise the bar’ [21-minute mark] on accountability, but so far this year she’s only lowered it. A majority of Albertans voted against this Premier and she owes it to each of them to answer for her government’s increasingly poor record on spending, health care and ethics.” Wildrose Official Opposition House Leader Rob Anderson said the answers offered up in her place by Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk are frequently intended to obscure facts and inflame the opposition rather than inform Albertans about the government’s record. “With the Premier’s frequent absence and the deliberately inflammatory behaviour of her deputy in her place, it’s becoming more and more difficult to get this government to answer honestly for its record,” Anderson said. “We are calling on the Premier to show some leadership, start showing up to work, and give Albertans the accountability they deserve.”