Skypalace plans still in place, auditor general says

Just days after Alison Redford resigned amid scandal, the same report that documented her controversial travel spending has revealed plans are still in place to continue work on her luxury penthouse 'premier’s suite.'

Executive suite to be completed, used for meeting space

Alberta's Auditor General Merwan Saher's report says Alison Redford and her office used taxpayer money "inappropriately" during her time as premier. (CBC)

Just days after Alison Redford resigned amid scandal, the same report that documented her controversial travel spending has revealed plans are still in place to continue work on her luxury penthouse 'premier’s suite.'

CBC News first broke the story about Redford’s plans to build the penthouse suite, dubbed the “Skypalace,” in March 2014.

The suite was to be funded by taxpayer money, but was designed to include rooms for both Redford and her daughter, along with a guest hosting and lounge area, and seated formal dining for up to 12 people.

The total cost to taxpayers for consultation work on the suite was reported to be $173,000, as of May 2014.

After news broke of the planned suite, PC party members – including current party leadership candidate RicMcIver –slammed the project. 

"I started fixing the rot at the top before the leadership race started,” said McIver earlier this week after Redford announced her resignation. "I killed the sky suite back in January."

However, Merwan Saher's report released Thursday shows the residential plans are still going ahead. In fact, Saher said he was unable to find any evidence the construction was ever cancelled in the first place.

Instead, the auditor general's report shows the posh living quarters will be built as planned, but will be turned into more general-use rooms.

"What is now being built on the 11th floor is a residential suite that will have meeting room, rather than bedroom, furniture," he said.

In light of the news, Wildrose leader Danielle Smith says McIver hasn’t been truthful with the public.

"He claims that he killed the Skypalace. Well, it looks to me like the Skypalace is still very much going ahead. You don't need to have grooming areas and washrooms if you are going to be putting something together as a meeting room."

Alberta Infrastructure told CBC News it would cost too much money to change the floor plans yet again.

With files from Jennie Russell

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.