Alberta government not selling fleet of planes, Hancock says
Alberta Premier Dave Hancock is brushing aside opposition calls for the government to sell its fleet of planes in light of new questions about their use by former premier Alison Redford.
“The reality is we do need to be able to access the remotest parts of the province,” he said.
“The fleet of airplanes has proved very useful to do that.”
CBC News revealed on Monday that Redford flew her daughter 50 separate times on government flights since she was first elected in 2008.
Documents show that Redford flew with her daughter and an assistant to Jasper last June.
So far, there is no evidence that Redford was there on government business.
Hancock says he always assumes the planes are being used appropriately and isn’t interested in finding out why Redford was there.
“If we're going to divert all of our attention to run after every single piece that an opposition member wants to throw in the sky and say ‘we assume this was nefarious, we assume that wasn't government business,’ we wouldn't be doing the business that Albertans,” he said.
Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith says the planes have proven too easy for the Tories to abuse. She says selling the fleet could save the government $7 million a year.
"It's pretty clear that you shouldn't be using government aircraft to go on personal vacations, you shouldn't be using it to fly your nanny, you shouldn't be using it to go to PC party fundraisers," she said. "There's just some basic oversight that is completely missing."
Redford has not commented on the flights or the trip to Jasper.
Redford is still the MLA for Calgary-Elbow but hasn’t appeared in the legislative assembly since she stepped down as premier.