Posted on Apr 27, 2020
STATEMENT FROM HEATHER SWEET REGARDING BILL 22 CONFLICT
EDMONTON – Alberta NDP Critic for Democracy and Ethics Heather Sweet issued the following statement on the Ethics Commissioner’s ruling regarding the passage of Bill 22:
“The Alberta NDP Official Opposition disagrees with the findings of the Ethics Commissioner. We do not agree that the conduct of the UCP being investigated by Commissioner Gibson was simply “political activity”. It was corrupt, anti-democratic and well outside the norm.
“The Commissioner describes the unprecedented number of emails she has received on this subject. Albertans don’t need a law degree to know what the Premier did was wrong and we urge them to continue speaking out about the abuse of democracy that was Bill 22.
“Furthermore, the Commissioner declined to pursue investigations of all but two UCP MLAs, she also confirmed that her jurisdiction does not extend to the ongoing RCMP investigations into the UCP’s Leadership race.
“In our view the UCP Caucus failed to conduct themselves with the high standard of integrity and impartiality required by Members of the Legislative Assembly when they attacked the rule of law with Bill 22.
“If the Ethics Commissioner is unable to investigate corruption under the current Conflicts of Interest Act, then it is clear that the Act must be changed to prevent such corrupt actions from occurring in the future.
“We do note that the Commissioner did cite the Premier’s Executive Director of Issues Management as appearing to have been involved in some ‘questionable political shenanigans.’
“It is time that the Premier comes clean on what those actions were and why he continues to surround himself with people that clearly have no respect for our election laws
“This is not an exoneration of the UCP. In fact, one member of the UCP was found to have violated the act by staying present in the Legislature despite having a clear conflict of interest.
“We do not actually agree with the legal analysis adopted by the Ethics Commissioner; however, we understand that she is the final arbiter on these decisions. Therefore, it is the Conflicts of Interest Act that must be amended to prevent the kind of unprecedented, self-interested attack that Albertans were subjected to when Jason Kenney fired the very individual investigating him.
“My colleague MLA Ganley has presented a bill that will amend the Act to ensure that the UCP cannot attack the rule of law in the same way they did with Bill 22. We urge the UCP to reconsider their daily assault on democracy and commit to supporting MLA Ganley’s Bill 202.”