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Alison Redford cleared in ethics probe

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Alison Redford has been cleared in an ethics investigation over a government contract awarded to her ex-husband’s law firm.

Ethics Commissioner Neil Wilkinson says while Robert Hawkes’s firm was chosen as part of a consortium to sue tobacco companies, then-justice minister Redford took a hands-off approach with the selection committee.

Wilkinson says when the committee recommended Hawkes’s firm, Redford directed in writing that negotiations begin on a contract.

That contract involves a $10-billion lawsuit to recover the costs of treating smoking-related illnesses.

Opposition parties called for the ethics investigation a year ago, saying that Redford was improperly dispensing favours to Hawkes, who was a political adviser and led the transition team when Redford became premier in 2011.

In a statement, Redford says she is glad for Wilkinson’s ruling and says the investigation was not necessary in the first place.



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