Alberta premier defends minister over possible conflict of interest concerns

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Danielle Smith is defending one of her cabinet ministers over possible conflict of interest concerns.

Provincial records show the husband of Environment and Protected Areas Minister Rebecca Schulz may be lobbying the government in areas that could overlap with her ministry's work.

Lobbying registry records show Cole Schulz is a partner in the firm Garrison Strategies, which is trying to influence the government on how reclamation certificates for oil and gas sites are issued.

Cole Schulz's firm is also lobbying for the oil and gas industry to have more access to what is now protected caribou habitat.

Garrison Strategies has been hired by the Explorers and Producers Association of Canada.

That information is not included on Rebecca Schulz's disclosure statement.

Smith says the province's ethics commissioner has looked at Cole Schulz's activities and found no violation.

In a statement, Rebecca Schulz's office says the minister is in full compliance with Conflict of Interest Act.

The Canadian Press