Premier Should Call in the RCMP to Investigate Tobacco-Gate: Wildrose


EDMONTON, AB (December 10, 2015): Today, Wildrose called on Premier Rachel Notley to call in the RCMP after further information was revealed about the process by which former Justice Minister Alison Redford awarded a potentially lucrative contract to the International Tobacco Recovery Lawyers (ITRL), the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.

The multibillion-dollar lawsuit against the tobacco industry was awarded by Redford to ITRL even though ITRL was the last-ranked competitor in the process.

“With the new information that ITRL discussed having special access months prior to the tendering process starting, the only logical next step is for an RCMP investigation to begin. Premier Notley should show leadership and call for this investigation,” Wildrose Shadow Justice Minister Scott Cyr said. “The entire process reeks of backroom deals and abuse of taxpayer dollars. That merits an RCMP investigation.”

“Albertans expect and deserve the largest litigation suit filed in the government’s history to be done by the book,” Wildrose Shadow Accountability and Democracy Critic Jason Nixon said. “I am glad that there is already an informal review being called by the NDP government, but more needs to be done. The Premier can and should call in the RCMP.”

The informal review by retired Supreme Court Justice Frank Iacobucci into tobacco-gate is expected to be completed by Feb. 29, 2016. Wildrose has requested that the bureaucrats associated with the awarding of the contract, including the current Deputy Minister of Energy, be called before the Public Accounts Committee on March 2, 2016, to discuss their involvement.

“Albertans have a right to hear from the senior civil servants involved in tobacco-gate, so that this can never happen again.” Wildrose MLA and Public Accounts Committee Chair Derek Fildebrandt said. “I would be incredibly disappointed if the NDP became implicitly involved because of their refusal to allow public questioning of key bureaucrats.”