Opposition questions Alberta's premier's credibility

Alberta Premier Alison Redford.



EDMONTON -- Premier Alison Redford's assertion it would be "inappropriate" for her to comment on accusations against her sister puts into question her credibility as leader of the province, say Alberta's opposition parties.

Lynn Redford was acting as a government relations advisor in the Calgary Health Region when she expensed tickets to PC and Liberal fundraisers.

After avoiding the media for days, Redford agreed to address reporters Wednesday -- only to say that because the matter is in the hands of the Chief Electoral Officer it would be inappropriate for her to comment.

Not only is it appropriate, it's necessary, said Alberta NDP Leader Brian Mason Thursday.

"What we're asking is what the premier knew about it, and when she knew about it. And she won't answer that question," Mason said.

"I think Albertan's deserve an answer to the question of what she knew about her sister's illegal contributions -- and if the premier won't tell us, I think it leaves a very dark cloud over (her) credibility."

Lynn Redford is said to have been reimbursed almost $4,000 for travel, accommodations, liquor and tickets at Tory events between 2005 and 2008, while she was a health executive in Calgary.

The Wildrose Party has asked a retired judge heading up an inquiry into queue-jumping to call Lynn Redford as a witness.

Party leader Danielle Smith says family or not -- Redford's government must be held accountable.

"We would have raised it regardless of the last name of the executive," she said.

Opposition parties continue to decry the Election Accountability Act -- tabled by Justice Minister Jonathan Denis Tuesday afternoon -- which would require the Chief Electoral Officer to out those found making illegal political donations.

The bill would only allow the officer to reveal specifics on cases dating back three years -- just shy of when Lynn Redford is alleged to have made the illegal contributions.

"That legislation is designed to cover this up -- this and other things. They are hiding their tracks by imposing an arbitrary statute of limitations at three years," Mason said.

"It ensures there can be no prosecution of cases like her sister's. So I can't see it any other way than as a deliberate attempt to cover up and prevent prosecutions of illegal activities by supporters of the (PC) party."

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