The debate in Alberta, following a budget introduced earlier this week, got ugly this week and that is good news for voters.
Andrea Redford, the leader of the Progressive Conservative party, will be the first leader in the history of Alberta to go to the polls with the legislation for the province’s next election not having been enacted.
That is the least of her problems, though.
As the debate in Alberta has unfolded, former head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has made embarrassing allegations against Redford and her husband, lawyer Michael Donaghey.
The allegations include a charge of sexual assault and are said to have come from an airline cabin attendant during Strauss-Kahn’s stay in Calgary several years ago.
On Wednesday afternoon, Redford apologized to the media during a news conference in Calgary, calling her husband a “gentleman,” as she defiantly said she wouldn’t resign. The premier noted that she had only just been elected last May, and pointed out she was a “strong politician” and this would “not shake her resolve.”
She also made it clear that she wanted to stay on as premier and answer these questions through her legal options.
This all comes after an announcement in late March in which the premier was negotiating a deal to extend the life of the Enbridge pipeline between Edmonton and Burnaby. This is important for the province of Alberta, because it is Alberta’s job creation engine, and Alberta is the single largest commodity supplier of oil to the United States.
The pipeline controversy is at least related to the premier’s accusers.
The NDP accuses Redford of being “throwing oil and gas out the back door” by removing legal changes she was in the process of developing to give certainty to Alberta’s pipeline projects.
Peter Watson, the president of Enbridge, said that they are awaiting information on possible charges from the RCMP before the company will comment on the allegations. But Clark Clark said that she has “grave concerns” about Redford’s actions in this case.
However, there are accusations that Redford has tried to buy votes in Alberta.
In an interview with the Edmonton Journal, the incumbent NDP MLA Gerry Wilson said that Redford gave a $10,000 donation to the Alberta Advantage fund in her wife’s name. He said she then publicly denied making the donation to a national radio host. “It doesn’t look good,” he said.
Alberta Premier Alison Redford is preparing to announce her resignation at an event in Edmonton on Thursday afternoon. The news conference will be livestreamed.
A University of Alberta political scientist thinks she made the right decision.
“My guess is that Alison Redford will resign very quickly, and will step down, and if a by-election is called then she would resign at that point,” University of Alberta political scientist Jim Slotek told FOX News.
However, Slotek says there is a lot of uncertainty regarding what will happen next.
“There are allegations, there are things that have not been thoroughly investigated. At the end of the day, there’s a lot of different things that can happen. I think the pressure’s likely going to have to get very high to get Alison Redford to resign, even if people think that she should,” Slotek said.
However, from a distance, Jim Slotek and others say the problem for Alison Redford now is political. Her political problems are growing.
“For Alberta, it’s obviously a no-win situation for Alison Redford,” Slotek said.