EDMONTON, AB – Alberta’s United Conservatives are calling on the NDP government to explain why they quietly re-hired John Heaney, former Chief of Staff to the Premier, who is currently the subject of an ongoing investigation for alleged political interference in Freedom of Information (FOIP) requests.
Newly released Government of Alberta documents reveal that Mr. Heaney, a former Chief of Staff to Premiers Notley and Horgan, was quietly re-hired last October as an “Executive Advisor” reporting to the Minister of Energy’s Office after being appointed to the same position a month earlier in the Minister of Treasury Board and Finance’s Office. The contract was not publicly disclosed until months later and Heaney’s name has been omitted from online staff directories.
That same month, Alberta’s Privacy Commissioner confirmed that she is investigating Mr. Heaney’s conduct relating to alleged political interference in Alberta’s freedom of information process.
“Alberta’s NDP government needs to explain why it thought it appropriate to re-hire someone that’s the subject of an ongoing investigation into political interference, and deliberately hide this information from the public,” said United Conservative Democracy and Accountability Critic Nathan Cooper. “This comes at a time when those offices are engaged on an important pipeline file, one integral to our province’s vital economic interests.”
In addition to his new $130,500 salary from the Government of Alberta, records show that Mr. Heaney is also concurrently working in British Columbia, lobbying that province’s BC NDP government on behalf of clients. Mr. Heaney has a long history with the BC NDP, including being John Horgan’s business partner before becoming his Chief of Staff.