Alward election ads may need tweaking after Redford's downfall

New Brunswick Premier David Alward's close association with former Alberta premier Alison Redford likely won't hurt his re-election bid, but it won't help either, given her recent fall from grace, says a political science professor.

Tories used former Alberta premier Alison Redford in ads in past, but reputation now tainted by AG report

New Brunswick's Progressive Conservatives may need to tweak their election ads, following the downfall of former Alberta premier Alison Redford. 2:10

New Brunswick election ads begin airing later this month, but some of the Progressive Conservative ones may need to be re-edited following the downfall of former Alberta premier Alison Redford.

The Tories used Redford heavily last year to raise money and boost Premier David Alward's profile.

But she has since resigned her seat and is facing a possible police investigation following an audit of her spending and travel habits.

Former Alberta premier Alison Redford and New Brunswick Premier David Alward were placed in front of cameras together frequently during her visit to the province last summer.
Alberta's Auditor General Merwan Saher has been shredding Redford's reputation with revelations of inappropriate spending and travel on Alberta government aircraft.

J.P. Lewis, a political science professor at the University of New Brunswick's Saint John campus, says it's unlikely Redford's fall from grace will damage Alward, but it certainly doesn't help.

"To kind of paint Alward with the same brush would be a bit of a stretch," said Lewis. "Still, I can't imagine the Tories will run those ads again."

When Redford visited New Brunswick in June 2013 to promote the proposed Energy East pipeline and toured Irving Oil's crude handling facilities at Canaport with Alward, video of that was included in an Alward television commercial that aired last summer.

Alward had also escorted her proudly into the Legislature to a standing ovation.

Redford's trip to New Brunswick was not among those singled out for criticism by Alberta's auditor general.

But he did pan her practise of combining taxpayer-funded government business trips and partisan activities, and Redford did headline a fundraising dinner for New Brunswick Conservartives during that visit.