EDMONTON — Opposition critics are crying foul after learning that former finance minister Ron Liepert has a new job working for a firm that lobbies the government.
Liepert will be working for the Canadian Strategy Group, a firm whose objective is to — quote — “provide value to clients through insight into government.”
Wildrose member Shayne Saskiw says it’s a blatant conflict of interest that demonstrates you have to be a Conservative insider to get access to the government.
Liepert maintains he will adhere to the Conflict of Interest Act.
The act specifically sets out what a former minister can and can’t do when it comes to dealing with the government.
The province’s ethics commissioner says the act specifies that for a one-year period, Liepert cannot communicate directly with anyone who holds public office.
However, he can provide background information and advise the firm.
Liepert isn’t the first ex-minister to have his new job questioned.
Last month, former agriculture minister Evan Berger took a job with his old ministry.
The ethics commissioner had to waive the cooling-off period in that case.
Saskiw says the rules in Alberta should be the same as they are federally, where the cooling-off period is five years.