Alison Redford expenses to be released by auditor general today
CBC story on draft version of AG report said 'false passengers' booked on at least 12 government flights
Alberta's auditor general is releasing his final report this morning into Alison Redford’s travel expenses during her time as premier, a day after she stepped down as a member of the legislature.
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Merwan Saher's report — which some have called the catalyst for Redford’s resignation Wednesday — includes details of her travel expenses and how the government uses its fleet of planes.
CBC News obtained an exclusive copy of the draft report last week.
Saher found that “false passengers” were booked on at least a dozen government flights, making it possible for then Premier Redford to fly alone with her entourage.
CBC News is livestreaming Auditor General Merwan Saher's news conference on the report starting at 1 p.m. MT Thursday.
Redford and her former chief of staff Farouk Adatia denied any knowledge of the practice of blocking passengers.
Saher had also concluded Redford derived a “personal benefit” by taking her daughter on dozens of government flights. He raised the question of whether Redford’s desire to take her daughter on out-of-province trips may have influenced the decision to use government aircraft rather than commercial carriers.
“We did not find any government business reason for the daughter’s travel on government aircraft,” the report said.
Interim Premier Dave Hancock said he had read the auditor general’s report last Friday, and on Wednesday, called on RCMP to investigate the use of government airplanes by Redford.
“As soon as the report is publicly available tomorrow [Thursday], I will be directing the minister of justice and solicitor general to refer this matter to the RCMP for their review and any investigations that they consider appropriate,” Hancock said in a written statement.
Finance Minister Doug Horner, who oversees the government planes, and Justice Minister Jonathan Denis are expected to comment on Saher's report Thursday afternoon.
Horner has not spoken publicly about the findings since the CBC story was published and broadcast on July 29.
Redford announced her resignation as MLA for Calgary-Elbow in a self-penned article in Wednesday’s Calgary Herald and Edmonton Journal.
Redford resigned as premier on March 23 after her caucus and the Conservative Party lost faith in her leadership as the Tories plunged in the polls, owing in part to a scandal over what the opposition alleged were lavish travel expenses.