Former chief of staff tweets he got $130K in severance
Stephen Carter, who worked for Alberta's premier for 6 months, releases information after FOIP controversy
Premier Alison Redford's former chief of staff Stephen Carter says he was paid $130,000 in severance when he left the job.
"In respect for the premier's demand for openness, the amount of my severance was $130,000," Carter tweeted.
Many had expected the number to be substantially higher, including Mount Royal University political scientist Duane Bratt.
"There's got to be more to this and if there isn't more to this, why all the secrecy?" he said.
The government refused for months to publicize the figure, and even today won't confirm it.
Bratt wonders what conditions were in the severance package.
He says it appears Carter was on a one-year contract and he was paid out the remainder of his salary when he left half way through.
"The 130 doesn't particularly shock me. It doesn't connect with the way that Redford has tried to avoid it."
Wildrose still wants to see documents
Global News said Wednesday the Alberta government denied their formal FOIP request for the information.
The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner reviewed the case and ruled that the public has a right to know the amount of Carter's severance pay, but the information still has not been released.
Wildrose Party leader Danielle Smith describes the amount of money paid to Carter as "eye-popping."
Smith says that amount is out of line with what's acceptable.
"Would anyone else have that kind of rich severance package? I don't think so, not in the private sector," she said. "So we need to start seeing some standards put around this and I have to say the more we find out about this the more questions there are."
Smith says she would still like to see the official documents to make sure the severance was not higher.
She also wants to see the severance packages that were given to a number of other senior government officials.
Too much money, says critic
The number is also alarming for Derek Fildebrandt of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
He said it's too much money for only working six months.
While Carter's tweet states he released the figure in respect for the premier's demand for openness he is not commenting any further on the matter, nor is the premier.
Redford did release a statement on Thursday saying she had nothing to do with the decision to not release her former chief of staff's severance pay information and says, “anyone who suggests otherwise is flat-out misleading Albertans.”
Smith had said earlier in the day the premier was “flouting the law” by denying Global's Freedom of Information request.
"Let me be perfectly clear," said Redford. "These contracts are covered under Alberta’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy law, and no politician is involved in decisions on their release, including me."
Redford says she instructed Don Scott, the associate minister of accountability, transparency and transformation, to replace the current disclosure in the Government of Alberta’s annual report with a policy that expands the proactive disclosure of salary and severance information for senior government employees.