February 23, 2016
EDMONTON – Alberta opposition parties are calling on the minister of finance to step down and requesting for a public inquiry into the entire government’s travel spending.
The requests came the same day Alberta’s Auditor General, Merwan Saher, publicly released a report on government travel and other expenses which concluded that Alison Redford and her office used public resources inappropriately while she was premier.
Read More: Redford’s misuse of travel spending caused by ‘aura of power': auditor general
The Wildrose has demanded Minister of Finance and president of Treasury Board Doug Horner resign, citing it was Horner’s responsibility to protect taxpayer’s dollars.
The auditor general report identified that it’s the responsibility of the Department of Treasury Board and Finance to approve flight requests from the premier’s office.
Wildrose MLA Kerry Towle says the Progressive Conservatives have tried to put all of the blame on Redford, but there are plenty of examples in the report that show planes were used inappropriately used by other MLAs.
The report provided details of Redford using government aircraft for trips that allegedly only involved partisan business, and incidents when she travelled on government aircraft with her and her daughter’s friends.
The report also identified two occassions when Redford’s daughter travelled on the aircraft without her.
Read More: Redford resignation: Premier directs justice minister to call for RCMP investigation into Redford’s flights
Alberta’s NDP is calling for a public inquiry. The party says the report implicates other ministers for inappropriate travel expenses.
The Alberta Liberals are also calling for Horner’s resignation, and would like to see the auditor general inspect other ministers’ travel expenses.
Premier Dave Hancock released a statement Thursday morning which read:
“Governments are entrusted to put the interests of the people they serve ahead of their own and to use public resources for public purposes only. That trust has been broken.”
Justice Minister Jonathan Denis said the RCMP will look into the report.
“As Attorney General, I have a duty to uphold the laws of Alberta and ensure everyone is treated fairly and equitably. I have instructed Tim Grant, Deputy Minister, Justice and Solicitor General, to forward the report and its attachments to the RCMP,” explained Denis.
“Any investigation that the RCMP does will be fully independent of my office and, as such, I will have no further comment on the matter.”
The RCMP has confirmed it’s received the referral from the justice minister, but is not sure if it will investigate.