Gene Zwozdesky apologizes for campaigning for Stephen Mandel

Gene Zwozdesky, Speaker of the Alberta Legislature, is admitting he made a mistake by campaigning for Progressive Conservative candidate Stephen Mandel on Tuesday night.
Speaker Gene Zwozdesky, second from the right, was photographed volunteering on the campaign for Progressive Conservative candidate Stephen Mandel on Wednesday night. (George VanderBurg)

Gene Zwozdesky, Speaker of the Alberta Legislature, is admitting he made a mistake by campaigning for Progressive Conservative candidate Stephen Mandel on Tuesday night.

Zwozdesky, who is the PC MLA for Edmonton-Mill Creek, appeared in a photo with volunteers on Mandel's campaign in Edmonton-Whitemud. 

PC MLA George VanderBurg posted the photo on Twitter Tuesday night. The tweet came to the attention of opposition politicians and started to circulate. 

Zwozdesky said on Wednesday that he regrets joining he campaign. 

“Looking at this in hindsight,  I can see where going out to support a friend one night for two hours is something I should not have done,” he said.

Zwozdesky is supposed to be impartial as Speaker of the Alberta Legislature.

However, he said that there are no hard and fast rules governing his behaviour.

But Alberta Liberal MLA Laurie Blakeman says there is at least one.

“He is the Speaker and this [rule] does not say he's not to be partisan except if he's outside of the house,” she said. “It says he's not to be partisan.”

The legislature resumes on Nov. 17.

Zwozdesky believes opposition parties should not be concerned about whether he will be impartial.

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