hi-mar

The compensation earned by Alberta's Asian envoy, Gary Mar, should be examined in a comparative study, says PC Party leadership hopeful Ric McIver.

Tory leadership candidate Ric McIver says he wants to know if Gary Mar is worth the half a million dollars he makes as Alberta's envoy to Asia.

Mar makes $560,000 a year working to increase Alberta exports to Asia and encouraging Asian investors to spend money in Alberta — more than double what the provincial government said Mar would be making when he was appointed to the position three year ago. 

McIver says it's hard to tell whether the envoy deserves the increase. He is suggesting a comparative study.

"There's been a tremendous amount of investment in Alberta out of Asia," said McIver, who is one of three candidates running to become the next leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

"What I cannot tell you is what percentage or what dollar amount is directly attributable to Mr. Mar's efforts and his office's efforts, and I think that's question that deserves to be answered."

Mar was appointed by former premier Alison Redford after Mar placed second to her in the Progressive Conservative leadership race in 2011.

It was said at the time that he would make $265,000 a year.

Mar was the subject of an ethics probe two years ago after holding a dinner at the Edmonton Petroleum Club to help pay $262,000 in debts left over from his unsuccessful run for the PC leadership.

Mar was ultimately cleared after it was determined there was no conflict of interest under the Code of Conduct and Ethics for the Public Service.

McIver says that if he becomes premier, he would ensure comparative studies are made public.