Alberta Politics

old boys club? gary mar is entitled to his entitlements.

Beating off criticisms that he represents the “Old Boys Club” of Alberta’s Progressive Conservative Party, leadership front-runner Gary Mar‘s campaign has been helped with a public plea from his former executive assistant and current campaign volunteer to leave him alone! Mr. Mar’s former EA happens to be none other than Kelley Charlebois.

Albertans may remember Mr. Charlebois as the owner of the company that was awarded $390,000 worth of controversial contracts to consult with with then-Health Minister Mar between 2002 and 2004.

When asked by Liberal MLA Kevin Taft in 2004 about what reports Charlebois Consulting had completed for Health and Wellness, Mr, Mar simply responded that “there are no reports as such.”

When asked whether Charlebois Consulting won these contracts through a competitive process, Mr. Mar simply responded “No.”

Even auditor general Fred Dunn reported that Mr. Mar’s ministry failed to follow its own policies when issuing the contract to Mr. Charlebois’ company.

Mr. Mar is also taking heat for accepting a a $478,499 severance payment when he resigned as a MLA to become Alberta’s representative in Washington D.C. in 2007. Mr. Mar had pledged not to accept the payment, but he quietly cashed in not long after he started his $264,069 base salary job as Alberta’s chief lobbyist in the American capital.

When asked about his decision to accept the severance, Mr. Mar told the media: “I did say I would defer it to some point in the future. I didn’t say when.”

In the words of former federal Liberal cabinet minister ‪David Dingwall, Mr. Mar was entitled to his entitlements.

7 replies on “old boys club? gary mar is entitled to his entitlements.”

Dave, you misrepresent the severance issue, though most people do. If you recall, Gary was a part of the caucus that took away government pensions for MLAs. The severance included money in lieu as a pension payout. So my question is why is an MLA, Gary or other, not entitled to have that money, just like anyone who leaves their job is entitled to take their RSP contributions with them? On the other issue, Gary has admitted his mistake and said he has learned from it.

I hope someone I know gets into power so I could give them advice for $400,000. I have morals however and would want to provide some sort of substantive product.

Gary Mar scares me as a politician. Not only does he have the dirt of unethical behavior on him, but he also has an air of arrogance to public services like universal health care and public education. Perhaps he was in the US just a bit too long, or perhaps it is because he is an old boy Tory, either way he lost my vote on the second ballet.

Janice: Thanks for the comment. It is my understanding that the decision to scrap the old MLA pension plan happened before the 1993 election (before Gary Mar was an MLA).

As the title of this post says, Mr. Mar was entitled to his entitlements. Mr. Mar publicly said he would defer accessing the MLA payout when he entered the high paying public sector job in Washington DC. He then quietly accessed the money a year later. He did not break any rules, he just essentially double dipped when he implied that he would not.

– Dave

He did not start telehealth. It was started in 1998. A anonymous donation of $14 M made in 1998 was the beginning of Telehealth. Halvar Johnson, Minister of Health from 1998 to 2000 or 2001.

Alberta Telehealth reflects years of hard work and dedication by telehealth champions, partners and alliances. A generous anonymous donation in 1998 and additional investment from Alberta Health and Wellness provided the funding needed to establish telehealth endpoints across the province and cover some of the costs of implementing new technology and services.

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