ALBERTA

Alison Redford's Conflict-Of-Interest Allegations To Be Investigated In External Review

12/01/2015 11:16 EST | Updated 12/01/2015 11:59 EST
Bloomberg via Getty Images
Alison Redford, premier of Canada's Alberta province, listens during an interview in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011. Redford told reporters in Washington yesterday she doesn't have 'any reason' to believe the U.S. government's review of the Keystone XL pipeline will lead to an 'adverse' outcome. Photographer: Stephen Yang/Bloomberg via Getty Images

EDMONTON — The Alberta government is launching an outside review of an investigation two years ago into conflict-of-interest allegations involving former premier Alison Redford.

The 2013 investigation looked into how a Calgary law firm with close ties to Redford was awarded the contract to represent Alberta in a lawsuit against tobacco companies.

One of the partners in the law firm was Redford's former husband, who remained a strong Conservative supporter.

Neil Wilkinson, the ethics commissioner at the time, cleared Redford of any conflict in awarding the multibillion-dollar contract while she was justice minister.

The NDP government says concerns have emerged that Wilkinson may not have had all the relevant information needed for his investigation.

The review is to be handled by retired Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci.

"These allegations are serious. We believe that the best path forward to ensure an objective review is to have that review performed externally,'' Alberta Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley said in a release.

"Our government is committed to transparency and accountability, which is why we're taking action.''

The review is expected to be completed by Feb 29.

Alberta is one of 10 provinces suing the tobacco industry.

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