NDP promises to cancel Executive Air program for premier, cabinet

NDP leader Cam Broten wants the provincial government to shut down its executive air program.

Opposition leader would sell two planes, convert one to air ambulance

The Executive Air fleet of government-owned planes has been flying the premier and cabinet around the province since 1965. (CBC)

NDP leader Cam Broten wants the provincial government to shut down its executive air program.

The fleet of three airplanes has been flying the premier and cabinet ministers around the province since 1965. 

Broten said selling two of the airplanes would generate $4 million for general revenues. The party would retrofit the third plane into an air ambulance to be used in northern Saskatchewan.

"I've been to the far north," said Broten. "And I've heard efforts there locally to fundraise to have a plane stationed in the north, so it can respond more quickly to help people. That is a far better use for a government airplane than simply shuttling around the premier and cabinet ministers in luxury."

The NDP singled out economy minister Bill Boyd's use of the air service.

According to the party, Boyd used the service 279 times to pick him up or drop him off at his home town of Eston, Sask., or nearby Kindersley between October 2011 and June 2015.

The party said he also used the service to fly to different locations in the province, mainly to Regina.

"The gravy plane for politicians must end, and I will end it," said Broten.

In 2014, Alberta sold its fleet of government planes for $6.1 million.

However, the Saskatchewan Party said the NDP frequently used the flight program when it was in office. The party also believes the service saves money that would be spent on charter air services and driving.

"We get great value from having a minister that is willing to travel, willing to go on trade missions to other places," said education minister Don Morgan.

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.