EDMONTON – In response to PC legislation claiming to increase government accountability, NDP Leader Rachel Notley called for a series of changes that would effectively protect Albertans from several forms of inappropriate behavior demonstrated by the PCs over the last several years.
“This PC party has continually flouted the basics of accountability and trustworthiness in government,” Notley said. “We thought, at the very least, that Jim Prentice’s widely-touted Accountability Act should fix the most obvious problems of recent years.”
The New Democrats are proposing a number of necessary clauses for Prentice’s upcoming Accountability Act, including:
- The Katz clause—changing the Elections Financing Act to prevent massive vote-buying donations
- The Sandhu clause—changing the Conflicts of Interest Act to ensure that no member uses their position to lobby on an issue that directly impacts their financial interests
- The Dirks clause—fixing the Elections Act to prohibit MLAs from using government resources during elections or by-elections
- The Redford clause—changing the Conflicts of Interest Act to prevent MLAs from involvement in decisions that benefit political confidantes
- The Berger clause—expressly prohibiting the waiving of cooling-off periods for former political staff or former MLAs and cabinet ministers
- The PC Party clause—fixing the Elections Financing legislation to ensure that the Chief Electoral Officer is able to investigate allegedly improper donations without being barred by artificially short timelines.
- The “Building Alberta” clause – passing legislation that compels the government to publicly disclose criteria for determining public infrastructure investment priorities, a clear public infrastructure priority list, and a detailed explanation for changing the priority list when that occurs.
- The Friends and Insiders clause—amending the Conflicts of Interests Act to ensure that it applies to people employed by government agencies, including the Alberta Energy Regulator and Alberta Health Services.
“Each of our recommended changes corresponds to an obvious breach of the public trust on the part of this PC government. This isn’t rocket science—it’s just making the changes that are necessary for Albertans to believe that this government is actually taking accountability seriously.”
A backgrounder with additional information on each clause can be found here.