Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Alberta's Redford Faces Questions over Government Flight from Palm Springs

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Alberta's Redford Faces Questions over Government Flight from Palm Springs

Article excerpt

Redford questioned over Palm Springs flight

--

EDMONTON - Alberta Premier Alison Redford is facing renewed accusations of extravagant travel over a government flight home from a Palm Springs vacation to attend a former premier's funeral.

Redford's office said it needed to make sure she got back in time last spring for Ralph Klein's memorial service and wind shear had grounded one direct commercial flight to Calgary days earlier.

The cost of flying the government plane down empty and returning with Redford, her daughter and two bodyguards was $9,200.

"Premier Redford was required to cut short her personal vacation with her daughter to attend former premier Ralph Klein's official memorial," Redford's spokeswoman Neala Barton said Friday in an email.

"Commercial flight options were considered. Of note, there were news reports of significant challenges with getting passengers out of Palm Springs at the time, involving WestJet Airlines."

Barton said Redford and her daughter had flown down to Palm Springs on a commercial flight at their own expense.

Wildrose finance critic Rob Anderson noted that passengers on the grounded WestJet flight had already arrived home, using a second plane, well before Redford left Palm Springs on April 3 for Klein's memorial service April 5.

"How can they blame it on a weather delay that happened three days earlier?" said Anderson in an interview.

"There's so many questions that don't add up here."

He said it would be different had there been a last-minute problem. But Redford had a six-day window between Klein's death March 29 and his memorial service to arrange a much-cheaper commercial flight back, he said.

"She consciously waited until a couple of days before the funeral and had the government aircraft fly them out when there were perfectly good options that were way cheaper.

"She's not being truthful, and she's misusing government resources."

NDP Leader Brian Mason agreed that Redford had cheaper options. He also questioned why she needed two bodyguards while she was relaxing in an upscale U.S. resort.

"I'm very puzzled by the requirement for two security guards to be with her while she's on vacation. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.