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March 27, 2017

New details show NDP government in over its head with AIMCO: Wildrose

Emails referenced in a new Financial Post story detail a troubling trend of NDP interference in the independent workings of the Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), even asking for help in partisan spin for the Premier, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.

Wildrose has obtained the same documents, and they reveal an ongoing trend of political interference into the workings of AIMCo, which is responsible for $90 billion in assets including the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund, pension plans, and government funds. In particular, the documents cite concerning and ongoing instances of interference from political staff to AIMCo employees, who are intentionally supposed to be an arm’s length from government involvement.

“Wildrose has repeatedly raised concerns about the NDP government’s involvement in AIMCo hurting the performance of this critical fund that all Albertans rely on,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “This troubling pattern was further solidified with these new emails showing the politicization of AIMCo activities, and NDP politicians ignoring red flags raised by AIMCo employees.”

The direct involvement of political staff into AIMCo’s workings is not the only error in judgement from the NDP government – they also made the decision to make significant changes to the appointment process for the AIMCo board without consultation of the corporation’s CEO, Kevin Uebelein, who stated “these recent changes to the AIMCo regulation actually did come as a surprise to us and, frankly, not a welcome surprise.”

“The NDP are jeopardizing the independence of AIMCo for political and ideological reasons,” Wildrose Shadow Finance Minister Derek Fildebrandt said. “The government should restore the regulatory independence of AIMCo and keep their spin doctors and ideologists out of sight. At the very least, the NDP government should show a sign of goodwill and reinstate sections 5 and 6 of AIMCo’s regulations to show they aren’t disregarding competence and attempting to stack the fund management with their political partisans.”