Alison Redford flights need RCMP probe, Alberta premier says
Wed, 6 Aug, 2014.
Alberta Premier Dave Hancock is calling on the RCMP to investigate the use of government airplanes by his predecessor, Alison Redford, who resigned her seat in the legislature on Wednesday.
Hancock made the statement after reading the report by Alberta auditor general Merwan Saher that will be released to the public on Thursday.
“Based on what I have read in the report, and after seeking legal advice, as soon as the report is publicly available tomorrow, I will be directing the minister of justice and solicitor general to refer this matter to the RCMP for their review and any investigations that they consider appropriate," Hancock said in the written statement.
Earlier on Wednesday, Redford announced her resignation as member of the legislature for Calgary-Elbow in a self-penned article in Wednesday's Calgary Herald and Edmonton Journal.
In a teleconference with reporters, Hancock said that Redford has done the right thing by stepping down. He said that referring the report to the RCMP is "the prudent thing to do."
“The report identifies a number of areas of concern," he said. "And I think in the interests of completeness and in the interests of being fully satisfied that everything appropriate has been done that it’s appropriate to ask that certain issues in the report be investigated.”
Redford's latest resignation comes as Saher prepares to make public a special duty report on the expenses of Redford's office while she was premier and Alberta's Air Transportation Services Program.
Hancock received and read a copy of Saher's report on Friday. He said that he has not discussed the contents with Redford. He also declined to discuss specifics with reporters until the report is out on Thursday.
Travel expense scrutiny
Redford faced calls to resign as a member of the legislature after CBC News revealed that not all of her travel expenses were properly accounted for.
As premier, she was able to fly alone with her entourage because “false passengers” were booked on at least a dozen government flights, CBC News learned after obtaining an internal report to the government.
The same documents revealed that Redford gained a “personal benefit” by taking her daughter on dozens of government flights.
Alberta opposition politicians have called on the RCMP to formally investigate these allegations.
In her article in the Calgary newspaper that's headlined "It's time to start the next chapter of my life," Redford admitted that "mistakes were made along the way," but did not reference any specific allegations.