Redford Scrutinized While Using Government Communications for Politics

The critics of government have alleged that Premier Alison Redford has surpassed all ethical boundaries for utilizing a government of Alberta news release for criticizing opposition parties. The controversial news release was drafted by press secretaries, Craig Loewen and Kim Misik, who officially issued a news release on Alberta Government letterhead, on Dec. 6th, right after a heated legislative session finished in which opposition parties repeatedly doubted Redford’s integrity.

Redford was directly criticized by the opposition, which accused her of lying to insist she that she was not involved in the decision-making process of awarding a comparatively profitable tobacco-litigation contract to a Calgary law firm, which just happened to have close, personal and political ties with her. The opposition presented several documents which pointed that Redford had made the call of allowing the contract but she consistently maintained that it was the decision of her successor as justice minister, Verlyn Olson.

The controversial news release included passages of 10 pieces, which asserted that legislation represents “the transformational change Premier Alison Redford promised.” But interestingly, the news release also deviously mentioned the opposition, saying that “while the opposition focused on an agenda of unprecedented personal attacks, Premier Redford and the government caucus remained focused on the issues that matter to Albertans.” These words were strictly scrutinized by the opposition, whereas an expert in political communications and a political scientist at Wilfrid Laurier University, Simon Kiss, stated that “I think it’s definitely a transgression.” Kiss added that “I think it’s pretty inappropriate for government resources and government staff to be including partisan attacks in public communications.”

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