Premier's Olympics trip dings taxpayers for $83,800

Alberta Premier Alison Redford's trip to London during the Olympics will cost taxpayers $83,800.

Alberta Premier Alison Redford's trip to London during the Olympics will cost taxpayers $83,800.

Redford will spend five days in London beginning Sunday along with Tourism Minister Christine Cusanelli and Culture Minister Heather Klimchuk and three staff members.

Redford will not be attending any sporting events, said the premier's spokesman Jay O'Neill.

The province is hosting three receptions and Redford will be delivering speeches at two others — a "Canadian Energy Day" hosted by the federal Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and a Canada-UK Chamber of Commerce function, he said.

The money is well spent, said O'Neill.

"If we want to be seen as being international — being on the international stage — I don't think we want to put a price tag on it," said O'Neill. "We have to do these things. These are the right things to do at this time and Alberta will see the benefits of it."

In a press release, Redford said the event is an opportunity to connect with decision-makers, executives and investors at the same time and in the same place.

"They are where the world meets and that’s where Alberta needs to be," she said.

But Liberal Leader Raj Sherman says the cost of the trip is excessive.

"We support getting Alberta's message to the world but not at this exhorbitant price," he said. "It's a slap in the face to hard working Albertans frankly."