Only days before the Alberta PC annual convention is to begin in Jasper, Auditor General Fred Dunn has confirmed that he will be opening an investigation into Highwood Communications, a firm operated by PC-insider Barry Styles. After leaving $5.3 million in unpaid bills, Highwood applied for bankruptcy protection after receiving $41.3 million in exclusive government contracts over the past 10 years.
The day before the Auditor General’s announcement, former PC Premier Ralph Klein defended Highwood, stating that the government should “stay out of it and let the private sector deal with it.” Styles was a key player in Klein’s election campaigns since the early 1990’s and most recently helped current Premier Ed Stelmach in the March 2008 election.
Highwood’s Saskatchewan branch, the advertising agency for several departments of the Saskatchewan government, filed for bankruptcy in 1998, leaving liabilities of $582,000.
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Background: Court Documents pertaining to Highwood Communications
Court Report of Trustee on Proposal
Notice of Intention-Creditors
Minutes of the First Meeting of the Creditors