Friday, September 21, 2012

Alberta Ethics Commissioner Says, "He's Within the Family"

This has really got my goat.   Alberta Ethics Commissioner Neil Wilkinson waved defeated PC MLA Evan Berger to take a $120,000 position at Alberta Agriculture where he was previously Ag. Minister just four months after being defeated. According to Wilkinson it was all above board because,get this, "he's within the  family, the government family."

There is supposed to be a cooling off period for all former cabinet ministers before they take any position  within the government.

Wilkinson apparently donated to both Jim Dinning's  and Ed Stelmach's leadership runs in 2006 and supported Dave Hancock in the latest PC leadership race that took place a little over a year ago.

Wildrose MLA Shayne Saskiw has come out swinging. 
"The premier should be intervening on this because anyone with an ethical gene in their body should know this doesn't pass the smell test," Saskiw said of Wilkinson's comments.

"If she's promising a fresh, new government, she has to review everyone in senior positions, and probably replace them."

Normally there is a one year cooling-off period before former cabinet officials can accept contracts from departments they had significant dealings with.

Along with his recent comments, the fact Wilkinson donated to Jim Dinning and former premier Ed Stelmach in the 2006 leadership race, and backed Dave Hancock in the subsequent leadership campaign won by Redford, shows he is too close to the Conservative Party to serve impartially as ethics commissioner, said Saskiw.

"The problem here is we don't have anyone who is independent or non-partisan because this PC government sets up a system where you basically have to be their lapdog," he said. "This guy is clearly an insider.

"He considers himself and (Conservative) MLAs to be insiders who are family."He is obviously not committed to upholding the separation between government and political parties, which is fundamental to parliament democracy, and he seems to believe as long as you're family you can do no wrong, so what else is he turning a blind eye to?"
It also seems our dear Premier, Nanny Redford was unavailable for comment.   Gee, I wonder why! 
Neil Wilkinson is clearly a partisan PC lacky.  He is not qualified to hold an important position as Ethics Commissioner. That position requires an objective non partisan to sit in that chair.   He should resign or be fired!

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