Wildrose’s Fox says review necessary

Wildrose Party MLA Rod Fox said a government review of expense and hiring policies is necessary in the wake of the resignations of two senior health executives.

Wildrose Party MLA Rod Fox said a government review of expense and hiring policies is necessary in the wake of the resignations of two senior health executives.

“I’m happy to see they’re doing a review and I’m eager to see the results of it,” said Fox, after giving an MLA update to Lacombe County council on Thursday.

“I just really want to see of those funds get to the front lines, where it impacts Albertans the most,” said the Lacombe-Ponoka MLA.

“We need more of those funds spent at the front lines rather than spent on lavish expense accounts.”

Alberta’s information commissioner and Don Scott, associate minister of Accountability, will conduct the review, which was announced on Wednesday.

Allaudin Merali, chief financial officer of Alberta Health Services, resigned last week after it was revealed he had filed $346,000 worth of expense claims between 2005 and 2009 when he worked for the now defunct Capital Health Region.

Sheila Weatherill, who approved the expense claims, stepped down from the board of Alberta Health Services because of the scandal.

Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith has also called on Premier Alison Redford to fire Health Minister Fred Horne, who has been in the job since October.

Fox was also given an update on an ongoing issue for the county and its residents, the lack of access points to Sylvan and Gull lakes.

The MLA said he would work with the county to bring their concerns to the government and to Drumheller-Stettler MLA Rick Strankman, Wildrose critic for Tourism, Parks and Recreation.

County commissioner Terry Hager also asked how being represented by an opposition MLA for the first time in decades would impact the municipality.

“What I’m able to do is offer a second door (to government),” said Fox.

As Opposition, the party can raise issues of concern for the riding in question period.

But there are avenues for MLAs of all parties to work together on behalf of constituents, he said.

“There are ways we can reach across the aisle.”

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

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