January 24, 2019 (Calgary) – The Alberta Party Caucus is calling for the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly to investigate whether allegations made by a former constituency worker were handled properly.
Last week, details emerged about improper requests made by Eric Rosendahl, the MLA for West Yellowhead, asking his constituency staff to assist him with partisan political matters. When she refused, and filed a formal complaint with the Public Interest Commissioner, she was subsequently fired. Constituency staff are required to be strictly non-partisan during work hours, and having them do partisan political work during that time is misusing taxpayer dollars.
“Ultimately, the Speaker is responsible for all Legislative Assembly staff,” said Alberta Party MLA Karen McPherson. “I know he takes accusations of abuse and impropriety very seriously, and I trust he recognizes these allegations are serious enough to justify an independent investigation, with the results made public.”
McPherson said making the results public are important, so Albertans can know whether proper procedure was followed once the accusations were made, who knew about the accusations, the results of the investigation, and whether there were any consequences as a result.
“My bigger concern is that this issue is looking like a larger pattern of behaviour from the government, with harassment and bullying to the point that staff – and even MLAs – are leaving, while these matters continue to be covered up. For this worker to be fired after she filed a complaint with the Public Interest Commissioner – a last resort – is shameful and ironic, because such actions would not be tolerated in the Alberta Public Service under the government’s own new whistleblower protection legislation,” McPherson said.
“Why aren’t MLAs held to the same high standards and expectations as government managers? All workers deserve the same level of protection from bullying, harassment and punishment by losing their job or the threat of losing it – wherever they work. An Alberta Party government will make sure all staff in the Alberta Legislature, regardless of political affiliation, are as well protected from bullying and harassment as government workers.”
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Letter may be found here.
Director of Communications and Legislative Affairs