Media releases | January 24, 2023

In response to Premier Smith’s statement that no emails have been found over the course of a hasty, internal email search over this past weekend and that no further action will be taken, Bradley Lafortune, executive director of Public Interest Alberta, issued the following statement:

“Trust in the Premier’s office has been broken. Only a truly independent investigation will begin to restore it.

“It is simply not believable that a comprehensive review of any potential and inappropriate correspondence between Smith’s office and provincial prosecutors has taken place this past weekend. At this point we don’t know who conducted the investigation, what the scope of their search was, what they found, or whether any policy and protocol will be changed as a result of the investigation.

“What’s more, nobody from the Public Service Commission, or any other area of the Alberta Public Service has been made available to talk about the investigation. Instead, Albertans received a cryptic and terse statement from the Premier’s Office essentially saying: “case closed”.

“The Premier’s story is changing day-by-day and hour-by-hour. It is absolutely critical for the public interest to restore some semblance of trust in our democratic processes and bodies and that will only occur if a fully independent investigation takes place – one that has clear terms of reference, grants unfettered access to all potential avenues of communication between the Premier’s Office and prosecutors, and results in fulsome reporting to the public on its findings.

“The scope of the investigation should include a review of existing protocol relative to communication and records management for elected and non-elected members of the Premier’s Office.”

“As it stands, what we have is an inside, issues management job, and Albertans deserve better than this bad theatre.”