English: Alison Redford (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Honourable Alison Merrilla Redford, Q.C., MLA,
Premier of Alberta
Office of the Premier Room 307,
I read with an abiding interest a news story by Calgary Herald reporter Darcy Henton dated October 4, 2012 entitled “ Redford defends compensation for law society dues“. Henton writes:
Premier Alison Redford says it is “entirely appropriate” for her to bill taxpayers for her Law Society of Alberta membership dues, but lawyers who serve as opposition MLAs called the practice “ridiculous” and “a gross misuse of taxpayers’ dollars.”
Redford told reporters at a Chamber of Commerce conference at Enoch’s River Cree Resort that it is the practice of the Alberta government to pay the professional membership fees for “people that are practising professions.”
“I am a member of the Law Society in good standing,” she said.
“As justice minister I was the chief legal adviser for the province. I think it was entirely appropriate.”
She said that didn’t change when she became premier.
“From my perspective, it’s part of my professional standing,” she said.
“It’s one of the things I stand forward with and say, that I am proud of the fact I am a member of a profession with a great deal of integrity. It is part of what has been government policy.”
By way of background, I am a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, admitted to the Ontario bar in 1993.
The purpose of this letter is to highlight what I consider, on your part, to be a fundamental misunderstanding of your role as an elected public official, who also happens to be a lawyer. (more…)