Liepert gets new job lobbying government

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.

Ron Liepert

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.

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