Mason statement on Premier’s refusal to address Bhardwaj allegations

EDMONTON – Today, NDP MLA Brian Mason made the following statement on the government's refusal to answer questions on the serious allegations against MLA, Naresh Bhardwaj.

"It is our job as opposition members to hold the government accountable.

"The government position that bribery allegations against a cabinet minister are an internal party matter does not hold water – their refusal to answer questions is unacceptable.

"There are unproven allegations that a former cabinet minister was involved in bribery, and rather than refer the matter to the police, Premier Prentice is having his own party investigate themselves. Where potentially criminal activity is concerned, it is not appropriate for such matters to be dealt with internally.

"The Premier’s assertion that this is internal, and should be investigated by the PC Party themselves is absurd.

"The person who made these allegations addressed their statutory declaration to Jim Prentice in his capacity as Premier.

"In refusing to refer the matter to the police, Mr. Prentice is failing to do his public duty.

"It’s clear that the PCs have not changed their spots – they still want to deal with allegations of corruption behind closed doors. That’s not leadership."