Lawsuit patronage scandal threatens Redford's moral authority to lead: Wildrose

The Canadian Press
Associated Press

EDMONTON - Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith says Alberta Premier Alison Redford must admit she mislead the legislature on the selection of her ex-husband's law firm to be part of a multibillion-dollar government lawsuit.

Smith says the scandal has grown to the point it now strikes at the heart of Redford's moral authority to govern and the premier needs to apologize.

Redford told the legislature this week that she didn't pick her ex-husband's firm to be part of a $10-billion lawsuit against Big Tobacco when she was justice minister in 2010.

Redford said she had left the department and cabinet by then to run for the party leadership and eventually become premier.

However multiple internal documents and memos released under freedom of information rules indicate that Redford did pick a consortium of law firms that included the one employing her ex-husband, Robert Hawkes.

Hawkes has remained close to Redford professionally as an adviser and as the head of her transition team when she became premier more than a year ago.

The premier is to speak to reporters later today.