10/13/2011 08:39 EDT | Updated 12/13/2011 05:12 EST

Ron Boisvert, Alberta Town Official, Used Work Email To Push Tory Vote


ST. PAUL, Alta. - A town administrator is coming under fire for using his work email to encourage people to support two candidates in the Alberta Conservative leadership race.

Ron Boisvert is the chief administrative officer for St. Paul.

He also volunteers for local MLA Ray Danyluk, and he sent messages to about 80 people asking them to vote for Doug Horner first, then Alison Redford during the second ballot of the race on Oct. 1.

St. Paul Mayor Glen Anderson told an Alberta radio show that he isn't angry, but he hopes his CAO learns from his lesson.

Boisvert wanted the vote to be swayed hoping that Danyluk would keep his cabinet post and keep money flowing to the area.

Premier Redford kept Danyluk in cabinet as minister of transportation.

Liberal Kent Hehr says it doesn't surprise him that municipal officials are using taxpayer resources to shill for the Tories.

“As recently as this spring, we were asking the government why council members and administrative staff in Rimbey made expense claims for political contributions to the tune of nearly $10,000, and why elected officials in Barrhead charged their taxpayers $720 to attend a PC fundraiser,” Hehr said in a news release.

“Now we find the same kind of thing happening in St. Paul. There’s a perception out there that elected officials at the municipal level have to cozy up to the PC party in order to bring home the bacon. That’s a pretty sad commentary on the state of democracy in Alberta.”

Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith called it pork barrel politics.

“It is shameful that after a leadership race claiming democratic renewal, this government still presides over a system where having friends in high places is what matters most when receiving tax payers’ dollars, forcing municipalities to beg cap-in-hand for funding to meet the needs of their residents,” Smith said in a news release.

(CHED, The Canadian Press)