Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Redford's Grievous Lapse

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Redford's Grievous Lapse

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: Redford's grievous lapse

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An editorial from the Red Deer Advocate, published Dec. 5:

The Speaker of the Alberta legislature refuses to censure Premier Alison Redford.

The people of Alberta should not be so reticent.

Redford has shown a grievous lapse of judgment in her role in delivery of a multimillion-dollar contract to her ex-husband's law firm. Even if she was not responsible for the final decision on awarding the contract, the impression is cast in stone, and it is damning. Quite simply, the whole mess smells. While still minister of Justice, Redford should have removed herself the moment she knew Robert Hawkes' law firm was among the contenders for the contract.

As the criticism in the house has multiplied, Redford has shown a remarkable penchant for ducking and dodging responsibility for digging the hole she has placed her government in.

As the opposition, led by the Wildrose Party, ramped up the questions for Redford in the legislature last week, the premier became more and more incensed by the accusations.

She steadfastly refused to acknowledge that she signed off on the choice of her ex-husband's firm to lead Alberta's legal campaign against Big Tobacco. Never mind that Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith had copies of the documents in her hand.

Redford was also outraged when her standing as a lawyer was questioned, turning the question on its head and suggesting that Wildrose MLA Rob Anderson was maligning all of the province's lawyers (he is a lawyer himself). It didn't answer the question he posed to her in any way.

And she spent a great deal of time letting her ministers answer questions directed at her.

In the end, opposition members asked Speaker Gene Zwozdesky to find Redford in contempt. On Monday, Zwozdesky said that the opposition had failed to prove that Redford made deliberately false statements to the house about the affair.

Zwozdesky all but admitted he was parsing phrases in his ruling, rather than getting to the heart of the issue. …

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