Alberta government will not release information about its controversial contract with the Calgary law firm to sue Big Tobacco for $ 10 billion, the Minister of Justice, Jonathan Denis confirmed Tuesday. Dennis said that the legislative details publicity stand-by agreement with the International Lawyers recovery Tobacco can harm their business, giving the enemy ammunition.
The deal has come under fire over the last few days, because one of the companies linked to Premier Alison Redford’s ex-husband and political advisor Robert Hawkes. Denis rejected demands from the Wildrose Party to release the information. “I’m on the side of everyday Albertans, not Big Tobacco,” said Denis. Shayne Saskiw Wildrose critic said that the only way to judge the transaction and the role of the prime minister in the awarding of the contract is for the government to come clean.
“Will the prime minister stop smoke, do the right thing and put documents showing our agreement and proposals put forward so Albertans can see for themselves if they got a good deal, or a super-prime awarded a lucrative contract to a friend?”, Saskiw asked. Deputy Prime Minister said Thomas Lukaszuk back agreement was made by a third party and is the most profitable.
“We as Albertans pay low wages emergency any province that is involved in this lawsuit,” said Lukaszuk. Extraordinary transaction will have tobacco recovery lawyers, or TRL, on the hook for any cost. TRL will pay interest only if they win the lawsuit. Critics say that they need to know the number, given that even with just 10 percent share may bring $ 1 billion windfall to the law firm associated with the prime minister.
The opposition was accused Redford misleading legislation on its participation in the case within a week after the Wildrose and CBC are documents relating to the solution obtained under freedom of information legislation. Documents indicated Redford, as Minister of Justice in 2010, the decision to opt for TRL. There is evidence that the letters came TRL congratulations on winning the contest and inform the other two competing firms, which they lost. All correspondence took place before Redford quit the cabinet in February 2011 to run for leader of the Progressive Conservative Party and eventually become prime minister.
Redford said unequivocally House during question period last week; it does not take a decision. It was supported by Verlyn Olson, her successor in the portfolio of Justice, who confirmed that it was decided to maintain the TRL and signed a contract in mid-2011. Despite this, Wildrose asked Speaker Gene Zwozdesky officially sanctioned Premier of misleading the house. On Monday, Zwozdesky ruled that both parties have made a strong case, but said that was not enough to find the prime minister guilty of such a serious parliamentary offense.
However, the opposition resumed attacks on Redford’s house on Tuesday. “As the prime minister still claims that it does not take a decision?” Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith said. “I think we’re re-living the past week,” said Redford. “I know that I was involved in. I know the decision was made. I’m on my personal integrity and principles.
“I am proud of who I am.” Wildrose critic Jeff Wilson Redford accused of double standards, Gary March order to step aside, as a messenger of Asia this year to a conflict of interest debate, but now refuses to step aside when she faces similar charges.
Wilson reminded the house that March was the favorite to replace Ed Stelmach as PC party leader and prime minister a year ago, was beaten until March Redford in the party vote.
“Did you order the Mr. March to resign just because most of your meetings decided to support his leader, and you want all know whose the boss?” said Wilson. Redford was reclining in a chair with his head, looked at the ceiling for a moment, shook his head and stood up.
“That’s the answer. I will not dignify that question with an answer,” she retorted. Wildrose dismissed after a few questions, the Liberal leader Raj Sherman took the case, saying that the prime minister should not have been involved in the file of her ex-husband at any level. “Prime Minister, do not you think it would be at least a conflict of interest?” said Sherman.
Redford said, her voice rising to a shout at the end, emphasizing each word. “There was nothing for me to disqualify myself from because I, do not do! Make! Solution!” she said, as her colleagues cheered MLA PC. Dispute led sharp exchange between Zwozdesky and opposition parties. They say, Zwozdesky, Progressive Conservative MLA, widely applying its rules as the referee close legislative legitimate questions about what the opposition calls the “Tobacco gate.”
On Monday, Zwozdesky surprised the opposition, saying he would not allow any questions on this subject, because it was a ruling on it. When the NDP asked for further explanation, he refused to give it. “It’s the end of that,” he said. All but one member of the Wildrose assembly, and then left the house in protest. When they returned later Wildrose member minute Gary Bikman broke parliamentary rules, holding a handmade sign that says “Shill”, referring to Zwozdesky.