A sad history of Redford's so called "real life leadership" on the issue:
Story breaks March 8th and Redford claims she that she was unaware of the situation: "I did not know," she said “This, to me, is a ridiculous situation. It isn’t the way Albertans want politicians to be paid." "It is not right"
March 9th: The truth comes out and she gets caught in a lie when we learn that she sat on that very same committee from Oct 09 until Feb 2010.
March 11th: Avoiding any leadership, Redford says that it is up to each individual member of her caucus to give back money they were paid for being on a committee that failed to meet for 39 months. “It’s a personal decision,” She will NOT make anyone pay the money back.
March 12th: The first big flip flop as Redford changes her mind and announces that it is no longer is a personal decision and that pay for committee work has been suspended for Tory members.
Also worth noting is that Redford called opposition MLAs giving the money back a "stunt" "I find it terribly interesting that a number of people in this house, who today have come up with a convenient stunt to try and polarize an issue, are people who were fully aware of what they were receiving for payment and did nothing about it until today, we will do exactly what I've committed to doing, which is to have an independent commission make a recommendation to not only how government members are paid, but all members in the legislature.
March 20th: Under pressure PC MLAs ( but not all of them) announce that they will be giving back pay from no-meet committee, but only 6 months worth, the time which Redford was Premier. On which Redford said "I can't revisit the past,"
March 26th: Writ dropped and election called. PC use smear poll to find out why they are losing voters by the thousands.
March 27th: Redford goes all revisionist history and says that: "And I say again, I was the first person to identify (the committee) as an issue, and as soon as I became leader I took steps to correct it." This in spite of her not knowing a thing about the committee back on the 9th.
March 29th: Redford flip flops on her flip flop and orders her MLA's to return the money. Forgetting that there are PC MLAs from that committee who will not ever pay back a single penny. (Snelgrove and Prins anyone?) and that she really does not have the authority to make these changes. Its a Hail Mary but I believe the public won't buy it and will see it for the desperate political stunt that it is.
March 30th: Dissension in the ranks. Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills MLA Richard Marz is not too happy with the way the Premier has handled this and questions why she should pay back some of the 30% (34% actually) that Redford voted to give herself in 2008.
Which brings up the question: If Redford's cabinet gets $3,500/month in lieu of committee pay, why shouldn't they return some of it?
PC MLA Karen Kleiss on the no-meet committee:
Previous posts on the no-meet committee can be found here and here.