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?