A fundraiser centered around Gary Mar has stirred the pot in the Alberta Legislature. Premier Alison Redford has placed Mar on unpaid leave. He is the province’s Asian trade envoy. John Chomiak, Mar’s finance chairman last year in the leadership race, noted it was a stupid move. Stephen Carter who is a campaign strategist noted that Chomiak was operating under the old Conservative party mind set.
Carter noted that the Redford leadership makes the Conservatives more transparent, something that would not exist under a Mar leadership. Carter also noted that Mar should be able to give his version of the story, and perhaps the suspension was a bit premature. He doesn’t want the Conservative party to be thought of as being the same as the Wildrose party, their main challenger. Carter notes that Wildrose members often act without thinking things through.
Wednesday’s session was peppered with questions about Mar and the suspension. Wildrose was insisting that the premier immediately sanction, fire or exonerate the man. At issue is the wording of some of the invitations sent out to the fundraiser, as well as a $20,000 trip that was on the auction block and went to a Calgary property developer.
While Mar intends to clear his name, insisting he did nothing wrong, Redford is also defending her actions. No doubt all of this will have some effect on the coming election, expected to be called sometime this month.