Redford sticks with plan to call vote after budget passes

CALGARY — Alberta’s premier says she won’t delay an election call that would likely see voters go to the polls sometime in April.

CALGARY — Alberta’s premier says she won’t delay an election call that would likely see voters go to the polls sometime in April.

Alison Redford, who took over the helm of the ruling Progressive Conservative Party six months ago, has been suffering through a series of scandals recently.

She told reporters in Calgary Friday that she will follow through on her promise to call the vote once the provincial budget is passed.

“We have a process in the legislature which means we can pass it fairly quickly and we’re looking to that calendar. Those votes are coming up quite soon but we will pass the budget before we go to the polls,” Redford said.

“I haven’t broken any promises. I’m not pushing anything back. As I said last summer and through the fall, I said we’d pass the budget first.”

One of the scandals involves Gary Mar, Redford’s chief rival last year for the Progressive Conservative party leadership.

She later appointed Mar to serve as Alberta’s Hong Kong-based Asia trade envoy.

Redford suspended Mar without pay last week after learning he may have tacitly offered to open doors in Asia for benefactors who attended a $400-a-plate dinner to help him pay off campaign debts.

The case is now being handled by an independent investigator, but Redford has been criticized from those both inside and outside her party.

The premier also had to do damage control this week when it was revealed an all-party legislature committee was paying politicians thousands of dollars to sit on a panel that hasn’t met in years.

On Monday, Redford froze the committee pay for all members of her government pending a review.