Airdrie MLA calls for police investigation of PC government
By: Matt Durnan
| Posted: Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 11:33 am
Airdrie MLA Rob Anderson issued a statement on April 1, calling on the Progressive Conservative government to request an immediate RCMP investigation into the party’s practices.
In the wake of a recent revelation that former Alberta Premier Alison Redford had ordered the construction of a luxury suite in the provincially owned Federal Building in Edmonton, Anderson made an official statement on April 1, calling on the PC government to request an RCMP investigation to determine whether any government MLA, cabinet minister, or other public official committed a breach of trust under the Criminal Code.
Anderson’s statement indicated that the Federal Building project has been under construction for nearly five years and will cost Alberta taxpayers $375 million, $100 million more than first announced in 2008.
“There are legislated government approval processes that govern how changes to spending decisions are made, those laws do not appear to have been followed,” said Anderson.
“Something very serious has occurred here that could be criminal in nature, and it may involve the former premier, cabinet ministers, and senior government officials. It is imperative that this matter be fully investigated by law enforcement. If there is criminality, charges must be laid.”
Anderson went on to say that if no criminality is found, “either a judicial inquiry or full investigation of Alberta’s Auditor General must be held to identify how this egregious action was permitted, who was involved, and how to ensure it can never happen again. The PCs are borrowing $5 billion this year to build infrastructure despite record revenues, and we are now seeing an approval process so flawed that luxury suites, PC alumni lounges and private elevators can be slipped into the infrastructure budget without even following proper protocols.”
Alberta Infrastructure Minister Ric McIver’s Press Secretary Parker Hogan said he was flabbergasted by Anderson’s comments, asking, tongue-in-cheek whether or not the statement was an April Fool’s Day joke.
“Mr. Anderson is a lawyer is he not? If he firmly believes that there is a strong case here, I’m certain he knows where his RCMP detachment is,” said Hogan, offering the same advice for anyone making a case for an RCMP investigation. “If anybody has any real information that would point to (Mr. Anderson’s) accusation I would tell them to go to the RCMP.”
Documents obtained by the CBC News through freedom of information laws show that Redford’s executive assistant, Ryan Barberio had personally ordered changes to the building’s floor plan. A document dated Dec. 4, 2012 details the directions given to the architect for a penthouse suite. The design included a guest hosting and lounge area, seated formal dining for up to 12 people, a private study and work space for two people.
Hogan stated that there will not be a residence at the Federal Building. Construction workers on the site told CBC News that work on the apartment had begun, but the plans had been abruptly changed, and it had been replaced with offices and conference rooms.
“There will be no construction of a residence and it will not be there when the Federal Building opens,” Hogan said.
Anderson says “this project calls into question every major infrastructure project on the Province’s books. How can Albertans have any confidence that such gross abuse isn’t occurring with other projects?”