Notley releases statement on Associate Minister Bhardwaj’s resignation from Cabinet

EDMONTON – Today, New Democrat Leader Rachel Notley responded to an announcement that Associate Minister Naresh Bhardwaj would resign his cabinet position amid serious allegations.

“These are serious allegations.

Yesterday, we called on the Premier to remove Naresh Bhardwaj from Cabinet. We believe today’s decision was appropriate.

However, by relying on the PC party to investigate members of the PC party, Mr. Prentice is failing to ensure that the interests of Albertans come before the interests of the PC party.

This is not merely an internal party matter and Mr. Prentice’s failure to recognize that is troubling.

We are calling on Jim Prentice to direct his party to forward all documentation and evidence to the RCMP so they can consider these allegations. Investigating a potentially criminal matter themselves, behind closed doors, is not adequate.

When the NDP questioned the government about this on Thursday, the Attorney General said that this was a “party matter”. He was incorrect and therefore we are continuing our call for the Attorney General to appoint a special prosecutor to oversee any potential investigation that may be undertaken by the police. This is the only way to avoid the conflict of interest that is clearly present with the PCs investigating themselves.

I am calling on Mr. Prentice to show leadership in this matter and keep his promise of running a clean government.”