Alberta Politics

A smoking gun? Premier Redford accused of conflict in tobacco case.

An exclusive story from CBC investigative reporter Charles Rusnell:

Premier Alison Redford, while justice minister, personally chose her ex-husband’s law firm for a government tobacco-litigation contract worth potentially tens of millions of dollars in contingency fees, a CBC News investigation has found.

One of Canada’s top experts in conflict of interest says Redford was in a clear conflict and should have not made that decision.

Arthur Schafer, director of the Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics at the University of Manitoba, says Alison Redford should have recused herself from the decision-making process in the awarding of a contract to her ex-husband’s law firm while she was justice minister. (CBC)

As CBC News first revealed in May, the Redford government awarded the tobacco litigation contract — at $10 billion, the largest legal action in Alberta’s history — to International Tobacco Recovery Lawyers, a consortium of law firms from Florida, Ontario and Alberta.

The consortium includes the Calgary firms of Jensen Shawa Solomon Duguid Hawkes (JSS) and Cuming & Gillespie. The two firms have close personal and political ties to both Redford and the Progressive Conservative Party.

Redford’s former husband is Robert Hawkes, a partner in JSS, who served as her transition team leader after she won the Progressive Conservative Party leadership race in 2011 and ascended to the premier’s office. Read more…

11 replies on “A smoking gun? Premier Redford accused of conflict in tobacco case.”

Seems like a very amiable split if you ask me. Either that or they actually were the best choice. Most people avoid their exes.

This is nothing. Wait till the Pandas turn up at the Edmonton Zoo after the CNOOC acquisition of Nexen is approved …

I forget who said it, but a good rule of thumb is when you see a headline ask a question – assume the answer is “no.”

Laws are applied in to manners in this province. The one Rule of Law Applies to P See’s, the other Rule of Law applies to everyone else, this makes them truly lawless. The Unethical Commissioner, the Chief Electionless Officer, Desolicition General,…all of these so-called “Independent” officers, they are truly arms length loyalists of the P Sees, that is clear and evident, because scandal after scandal, Nobody has been impeached or thrown out of office, not so much as even a slap on the wrist.

Fed Libs collapsed after the Adscam scandal, Mayor of Toronto sacked for “conflict of interest”, Sask. Cons. Gov’t tossed for the alleged $800,000 theft of public monies. When even sum all of these and many other scandals outside of AB, they don’t even come close to the ethical, moral and legal corruption that is ever pervasive and rampant in this province.

Even Quebec had a Public Inquiry on the Huge beaureaucratic corruption there.

What is going on here is so ginormously massive and entrenched, it would dwarf corruption by any regime on this planet.

NOt even one of the so called independent officers in AB have mustered the fortitude or ethics to challenge anything.

At the end of the day, it seems, the law does not apply to the P. Sees. They are above the law and untouchable.

Billions of Debt, despite oil @90 a barrel for years now. NO savings, NO lasting value or infrastructure or diversification built here for the future, when prices drop, or when it runs out.

Conflict of interest after conflict of interest, election fraud, physician intimidation, misleading the voters during the election with overinflated revenue projections, 325$m energy scandal, top up payments for leaders, independent officers of the Gummint, unwilling to bring even a sliver of honesty, ethics and truth, but ever so eager to whitewash any and all scandals that break.

Gov’ts have fallen for so much less than all that is going on here. Some here is far beyond fishy, far beyond kurrupt here. It is beyond sickening and beyond reviling and grotesque beyond imagination.

AB is the best place on the planet, but it could be a whole lot better, if some political sunshine, ethics, morality and truth ever shines down on this cold place.

So Dave, are you going to offer some commentary on this issue? Or do you have a conflict of interest that you’d like to declare?

I don’t understand how anyone thinks it’s a good idea for the Premier to say that she didn’t make the decision when the signed document is posted for all to see and the current Justice minister himself admitted it (before being told to change his story). No one will be fooled now. Some handlers’ heads should roll, and the Premier would do well to own up before the hole gets deeper.

When Redfrod sealed the court records regarding municipalities giving taxpayer money to her party I thought there must be even bigger crap she was hiding.

My hunch was correct. She will be a footnote in political history by spring.

Simple Ed was tossed and sacked for way less than this. Rob Frod, Mayer of TO sacked over 3k conflict of interest, Fed Libs sacked over Adscam, Sask cons sacked and jailed over $800k, public Inquiry in Quebec kurruption case. All of this is peanuts compared to what has been happening in AB. Office of Ethics, Office of integrity, Office of Elections, Office of Auditer Gen, the Judiciary, the Media,… All of these institutions cannot and must not look the other way. If they do, democracy is a sham in AB and elected leaders are mere puppets on strings and nothing more. Public confidence must be restored to these offices to show that are not whitewashing transgressions. Citizens and voters must not be taken for granted. These institutions and agencies have an excellent opportunity to reaffirm that that the inherent checks and balances of a functioning democracy are working for the citizens.

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