Thomson: Alberta’s eventful 2014, by the numbers

EDMONTON – Before 2014 recedes forever into the rear-view mirror, let’s take a peek at the past year not in words but in numbers. So, back by questionable demand, I bring you the annual Alberta Index (with apologies to the inimitable Harper’s magazine index).

Amount of taxpayers’ money Premier Alison Redford spent on a trip for herself and an aide to attend Nelson Mandela’s funeral in December of 2013: $44,254.39.

Number of government MLAs in March who reportedly threatened to quit their caucus if Redford did not pay back that money: 20

Number who actually left caucus: 2

Date on which Redford announced she was resigning as premier: March 19

Date on which she officially resigned: March 23

Number of days Redford served as premier: 898

Date on which Alberta’s Auditor General, Merwan Saher, issued a damning report saying an “aura of power around Premier Redford and her office” led to misuse of government aircraft: Aug. 7

Date on which Redford resigned her legislative seat: Aug. 6

Number of candidates in the PC leadership race to replace Redford: 3

Amount of money Jim Prentice, Ric McIver and Thomas Lukaszuk had to pay as an entry fee: $50,000

Number of years McIver had participated in a “March for Jesus” event in Calgary organized by a church that believes the 2013 flooding in southern Alberta was caused by God’s anger over homosexuality: 4

Amount of money taxpayers spent on a data roaming bill run up by Lukaszuk while in Europe in October, 2012 — according to documents leaked to the news media during the leadership race: $20,243

Number of legislative terms Prentice said should be the limit for MLAs: 3

Number of terms he said should be the limit for premiers: 2

Number of government MLAs who should be shown the door under Prentice’s proposed limits when the next election is called: 16

Chances that Prentice will try to enact term-limit legislation that many experts say would be unconstitutional: 0

Date on which the leadership vote was held: Sept. 6

Number of votes cast: 23,386

Votes cast for Prentice/McIver/Lukaszuk: 17,963/2,742/2,681

Number of aircraft in the provincial government’s fleet that Prentice announced Sept. 16 he would sell: 4

Number of employees, including pilots, affected by the sale: 27

Number of byelections held on Oct. 27: 4

Number won by PC candidates, including Premier Prentice: 4

Number where the Wildrose finished second: 2

Where the Wildrose finished third: 2

Number of Wildrose MLAs who defected to the PC caucus on Nov. 24: 2

Number of times an angry Wildrose leader Danielle Smith said the defectors “will be silenced on the backbenches of the PC caucus — that’s what happens in the PC caucus:” 1

Number of times Smith said, “There’ll be no more floor crossings:” 1

Number of Wildrose MLAs, including Smith, who defected to the PCs on Dec. 17: 9

Number of cabinet positions Prentice was reportedly going to give to the floor-crossers on Dec. 18: 2

Number he gave: 0

Percentage chance that Prentice had to change his cabinet shuffle plans because of angry reaction from his own caucus who did not want their old enemy Smith rewarded: 100

Date on which Prentice said he was reviewing the “talents and abilities” of the former Wildrose MLAs as part of a possible shuffle in the New Year: Dec. 18