We’re Sorry: Hancock Apologizes for Redford’s Travel Spending

Written by Jessica Hallam

on Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Premier Dave Hancock kicked off his press conference Tuesday with a sweeping apology for former premier Alison Redford’s inappropriate use of taxpayer dollars.

“I want to start by apologizing to Albertans on behalf of our government,” he said from the Alberta legislature’s media room. “There has been lots of talk about who’s responsible, who’s to blame, who’s accountable … There’s no question that Albertans feel let down by their government, and that means all of us. As elected members of our government, it’s our responsibility to rebuild the trust that we’ve rightly lost, and stand up and say, ‘We are accountable.'”

It was the first time Hancock spoke publicly about the findings presented in the Alberta’s auditor general’s scathing report, released nearly two weeks ago, which details Redford’s misuse of public resources.

“Each of us knows the rules and it’s up to each of us to make sure we’re adhering to those rules at all times,” said the interim premier.

Hancock said the Alberta PCs plan to rebuild the public’s trust by following the recommendations laid out in the auditor general’s report by clarifying internal policies and providing more oversight on travel spending.


Treasury Board President and Minister of Finance Doug Horner also spoke at the presser, providing an update on policy changes enacted so far.

“Today’s changes will increase accountability,” he said.

Horner said the Treasury Board Committee will keep a closer eye on the premier office’s expenses and implement a number of aircraft-related policies immediately.

“Invited guests must now be pre-approved by the minister responsible for the government airplanes,” said Horner, referring to himself. “The request must show what reasonable government business requirement is being met. If the invited guest is a family member, it must be shown that they have been invited to attend the government meeting or function.”

As well, Horner said all requests for use of government aircraft must identify commercial options, their approximate price and other logistical information to justify their request.

“The fleet will continue to be grounded for all out-of-province travel,” said Horner. “Our new premier can consider whether out-of-province travel is warranted.”

As well, Horner said the government will provide quarterly updates to Albertans on the cost of flights on top of their regular monthly report of manifests.

The press conference was followed up with Hancock taking part in the ice bucket challenge on the steps of the legislature. – See more at: http://okotoksonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=25309&Itemid=33350#sthash.36lkQ7ne.dpuf