Public Eye has learned the health services assistant deputy minister John Bethel, a former federal Liberal candidate, is a member of premier-designate Christy Clark's transition team. Mr. Bethel is presently responsible for the ministry's transformation and productivity division, having been appointed to that position November 2009. Prior to that, Mr. Bethel was assistant deputy minister of the government's alternative service delivery secretariat, putting him in charge of outsourcing government operations. Mr. Bethel also has a partisan background.
As the vice-president of the federal Liberals' Alberta wing, he was one of Paul Martin's supporters during the infighting that eventually resulted in Prime Minister Jean Chretien's resignation. After Mr. Martin succeeded Mr. Chretien, Mr. Bethel unsuccessful ran as the party's handpicked candidate in Edmonton East during the 2004 election. Two years later, Mr. Bethel, the son for former parliamentarian Judy Bethel, backed Scott Brison during his failed Liberal leadership bid.