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Premier Alison Redford scrums with the media following a meeting of the provincial PC Party executive in Calgary, Alta., Saturday, March 15, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Premier Alison Redford scrums with the media following a meeting of the provincial PC Party executive in Calgary, Alta., Saturday, March 15, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
(Jeff McIntosh/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Why Redford's shadowy chief of staff may have been part of the problem

Alison Redford’s chief of staff Farouk Adatia is quiet and contemplative. He’s rarely photographed. He doesn’t speak to reporters, even on background. Yet he was a key figure as the Alberta premier tried to work her way out of her a political predicament that, Wednesday night, cost her her job.

Ms. Redford was at about 20 per cent support in the polls before she resigned, and her party’s board of directors last weekend had put her on a “work plan,” an ambiguous probation period for the premier. She had been hit by expense controversy after controversy over the past seven weeks, and she saw two members of her caucus depart – with a couple more MLAs publicly musing about following. Even with Alberta’s strong economy and a balanced operating budget, she had been criticized for a domineering leadership style.