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Thursday, February 07, 2008

change that works for tory insiders.

Hours before the election was called on Monday, Tory leader Ed Stelmach and his cabinet amended the newly adopted conflict of interest rules so that they wouldn't apply to Tory Ministers or MLAs who are retiring or are defeated in the March 3 election.

...the Tory cabinet approved an order-in-council to have the Conflicts of Interest Amendment Act take effect on April 1, nearly a month after the March 3 vote. A government worker had earlier told The Journal the rules would be in place before the campaign began.

It means retiring finance ministers Lyle Oberg and Greg Melchin don't have to wait 12 months before they can start lobbying their former government on behalf of auto insurers or oilsands companies -- only the six months for ex-ministers under the old law.

And the premier's chief of staff, his deputies and all ministers' senior aides have no restrictions on their dealings if they hit the exits following the election, which they traditionally do in droves.

Ed Stelmach introduced the new conflict of interest legislation last year as part of his then-commitment to Albertans be open and accountable (maybe he meant after he got re-elected). Here's a list of retiring Tory Ministers and MLAs who are getting a pass on Alberta's conflict-of-interest laws:

* Tony Abbott, Drayton Valley-Calmar
* Mike Cardinal, Athabasca-Redwater
* Harvey Cenaiko, Calgary Buffalo
* David Coutts, Livingstone-Macleod
* Victor Doerksen, Red Deer South
* Denis Ducharme, Bonnyville-Cold Lake

* Clint Dunford, Lethbridge West
* Gordon Graydon, Grande Prairie Wapiti

* Carol Haley, Airdrie-Chestermere
* Denis Herard, Calgary Egmont
* LeRoy Johnson, Wetaskiwin-Camrose
* Rob Lougheed, Strathcona
* Greg Melchin, Calgary North West
* Richard Magnus, Calgary North Hill
* Lyle Oberg, Strathmore-Brooks
* Hung Pham, Calgary Montrose
* Ivan Strang, West Yellowhead
Ten of these Tory MLAs are former Tory cabinet ministers (in bold) and two were in Ed Stelmach's cabinet when the amendment was made on Monday.

Here's a question for Albertans to ask Ed Stelmach and local Tory candidates:
Why don't Alberta's conflict-of-interest rules apply to Tory insiders?

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Did Ed Stelmach let retiring cabinet Ministers Lyle Oberg and Greg Melchin vote in and be part of this decision? (talk about being in a conflict-of-interest over a conflict-of interest...)

Anonymous said...

Typical Tory attitude. The rules apply when they want them too. It doesn't work like that for regular Albertans. These guys are out of touch. Time for a change.

Glen said...

Shameful.

Voice of Reason said...

The Tory trolls seem AWFULLY quiet today.

Voice of actually knowing what i'm talking about said...

I wonder if there is a conflict of interest for a Liberal communications staffer to use his position to further his own attention-seeking cause while being paid by taxpayers money....probably not, i'm sure conflicts only exist for Tories right?

Thank god the Liberals have no chance of winning this election. You hypocrites are scary.

daveberta said...

"Voice of actually knowing what i'm talking about," for someone who "actually knows" what they're talking about I'll let you know that I'm studying full-time at the University of Alberta and have never collected a taxpayer funded paycheque.

Anonymous said...

What's up, Dave?

From yesterday's Metro:

blogger to settle

An Edmonton blogger has offered to settle his ongoing legal dispute with Premier Ed Stelmach if the premier donated $1,000 to a local homeless shelter. Last month, Stelmach's lawyers threatened to sue Dave Cournoyer for his use of edstelmach.ca, claiming that the matter was the "misappropriation of his personality." Cournoyer, who is known online as daveberta, met with Stelmach's lawyer at a coffee shop yesterday and offered to hand over the domain name if the premier makes a $1,000 donation to the Herb Jamison Centre.

"The Premier indicated that he's willing to take this to court, and that would cost tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees, but I figured that something good should come out of this," he said. The blogger used to work for the Alberta Liberals and bought the domain name for $14 last year, months after Stelmach won the Tory leadership race to become Premier. Stelmach's lawyer says he will discuss the offer with his client today and they hope to resolve the matter shortly.

Anonymous said...

"never collected a taxpayer funded paycheque"...I wonder if Mr. Davey is receivinf student loans? or if Mr. Davey knows that his tuition is only 30% of the actual cost of his "full-time" education? Personally, I hope the Liberals hire him back, I'm sure they can attribute their meteoric rise in popularity to his techniques.

Anonymous said...

So, anonymous, Albertans who collect student loan shouldn't get politically active because it's a conflict of interest? That makes about as much sense as Ed Stelmach being Premier of Alberta.

On that point, Dave Hancock has talked about how he had student loans. Does that mean he is in a conflict of interest by being an MLA? NO.

Jonathan said...

Hm, the auditor general flat-out tells Albertans that they were short-changed billions. Alberta is struggling with the effects of an extremely overheated and distorted economy, and some of the anonymous posters on here are scrutinizing a blogger. Makes sense to me.

I always love the "thank God the NDs or Libs will never get elected here" attitude which has permitted the Tories to run amok for decades.

Voice of Reason said...

It's funny how, when a Tory realizes that they can't win an argument, they resort to baseless smears and logistical gymnastics in order to apologize for their agenda of cronyism.

Keep it up, boys!

Anonymous said...

Please apply the same logic you've applied above to the Liberal candidate accused of drug trafficking and bribery. In particular, I would like to see "The Voice of Reason's" logic applied to these new facts.

jonathan said...

That was pretty vague (kind of like the username anonymous)....if you want to talk about crimes by elected officials, ask Dr. Oberg "where the skeletons are buried"

Anonymous said...

"Jonathan" isn't exactly un-anonymous. I'd rather discuss the Liberal candidate that Taft has finally rejected due to the aforementioned charges - it is more current.

jonathan said...

I haven't heard of this as I'm living Stateside. I'll give Taft this - he's absolutely right to reject a candidate with such a background.

Candidate screening by the Tories might have prevented embarrassing moments such as a certain someone throwing crumpled bills and cursing at homeless people, abusing government aircraft travel (since taxpayer dollars were mentioned in this thread) and a useless $400K contract to Gary Mar's buddy.

Anonymous said...

You are blinded by your political biases and it taints everything you say.

jonathan said...

Thanks bro, it takes a truly unbiased individual to help me realize that. The scales have fallen from my eyes.

eh said...

Voice of reason: well said. It must be difficult being an Alberta Tory. All that cognitive dissonance between their conservative views and the government's corruption and inefficiency.

Reminder said...

"I haven't heard of this as I'm living Stateside. I'll give Taft this - he's absolutely right to reject a candidate with such a background."

Half was an official candidate, listed on the Liberal website, until he was charged.

Anonymous said...

Half was never nominated at any point.

jonathan said...

To reminder:

How does a thread about Tory insiders segue into the merits of a Liberal candidate? (Who might not have been a candidate?)

jonathan said...

Further to reminder:

I googled this candidate business and found nothing.

It's ironic that when the media is trained to ignore the Liberals, I guess they ignore them all of the time. If you find this upsetting, tell the media to pay attention to everything the Liberals are doing. Especially in the next four weeks.

Anonymous said...

Jonathan:

Google the guy's name. You will find results for the Alberta Liberals' site. Use the cached link. You will have your result. It isn't that hard.

jonathan said...

So here it is:

http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/story.html?id=c5055ab3-d7e5-4a73-a857-99fc576e922f

Quite the letdown. Not nearly as entertaining as the escapades of the Tories, who seem to attract winners like Craig Chandler.

A potential candidate withdraws. Not only is that a dull story, I still don't know what it has to do with the original topic of this thread. Whoever brought it up, I'd have to say their biases taint everything they say.