Monday, August 04, 2014

Kick the bum out!

Alison Redford in her taxpayer Mother Teresa pose
Alberta Tory leadership candidate Thomas Lukaszuk urges emergency caucus meeting on Redford

By Mariam Ibrahim
Monday, August 4, 2014
Tory leadership candidate Thomas Lukaszuk has asked for an emergency meeting to discuss Alison Redford's caucus membership. (Photograph: Ed Kaiser/Edmonton Journal)

EDMONTON - Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Thomas Lukaszuk says the Tories should call an emergency meeting to discuss turfing former premier Alison Redford from caucus.

Lukaszuk asked for the emergency meeting to discuss Redford’s membership in a letter sent Saturday to PC caucus whip George VanderBurg.

Albertans are infuriated at Redford’s “disregard for taxpayers’ dollars and the long list of inappropriate conduct. The most recent allegations appear to be of a nature that go beyond previous examples, and they have ultimately tested Albertans’ patience,” Lukaszuk wrote.

Redford resigned as premier in March amid a brewing caucus revolt over a series of expense scandals. Last week, she came under renewed scrutiny after a leaked auditor general report revealed a practice of booking false passengers on government flights to prevent other MLAs from flying with the former premier. The false names were then removed before the final flight manifest was printed.

Redford, who remains MLA for Calgary-Elbow, has denied knowing about the practice and said she would be surprised if the allegations are true.

Lukaszuk said he learned last week the Tories won’t be holding another caucus meeting until early September, but added the question of whether Redford can remain a Tory MLA should be dealt with immediately.

“It preoccupies Albertans and they’re getting really tired of it,” Lukaszuk said Monday, adding the allegations cast a shadow over the rest of government. “They just want us to move on. Enough is enough.”

If he becomes premier, Lukaszuk said he would have Redford’s expenses and flight records investigated and forwarded the police if necessary.

PC leadership hopeful Jim Prentice has said a police investigation into Redford’s conduct would be grounds to expel her from caucus.

Candidate Ric McIver has said the latest allegations against Redford appear to warrant a criminal investigation, but that voters should ultimately decide who represents their constituency.

mibrahim@edmontonjournal.com
twitter.com/mariamdena


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