Fake passengers booked on plane so Alta. premier could fly alone

Redford’s staff blocked others from flying on government plane, says report


EDMONTON — CBC News is reporting that Alberta’s auditor general found “false passengers” were booked on some government flights so that then-premier Alison Redford could fly alone.

The network said the auditor found Redford’s staff blocked others from flying by booking seats in advance and then removing passenger names before printing the flight manifest.

Merwan Saher’s findings are in an internal report to the government obtained by CBC News, the network said.

It reported that Saher also concluded that Redford derived a personal benefit by taking her daughter on dozens of government flights and used a government plane for trips where there were commercial options.

Redford resigned as premier on March 23 ahead of a caucus revolt due in large part to her lavish spending.

A call for comment to Redford’s constituency office Tuesday by The Canadian Press was not immediately returned.

The auditor’s report says Redford and her former chief of staff denied any knowledge of the altered passenger lists, CBC News reported.

Redford told the auditor general she did not request the government planes, but the report notes that, in every case, the request came from the premier’s office, the network said.

“We were told by 1/8the premier’s 3/8 office staff and multiple staff from the Department of Treasury Board and Finance that for certain flights the remaining seats available on the plane were blocked to restrict access to premier Redford on the aircraft,” CBC News reported Saher’s report as saying.

“The implications of this practice were that other government employees or elected officials would not have been able to travel on those aircraft.”

It was Redford who, before she resigned, asked the auditor general to review the government’s flight program.

Opposition parties were already calling last spring for the province to scrap its fleet of four turboprop planes. Premier Dave Hancock has said the planes are sometimes the best and only way for government officials to get into remote communities.

Flight records show Redford took her daughter, Sarah, on 50 flights on government aircraft, including for two weekends in Jasper. The records simply list “meetings with government officials.”

Shortly before her resignation, Redford admitted to flying her daughter and her daughter’s friend around on a handful of flights and paid back the equivalent airfares. She also admitted taking a government plane to a family funeral in Vancouver and bringing a plane in to fly her back from a Palm Springs vacation.

She also paid back $45,000 spent on travel to and from South Africa for Nelson Mandela’s funeral in December. Redford and her aide flew to Ottawa, where the premier joined the prime minister’s entourage. Her aide, however, took a commercial flight to South Africa.

He and Redford returned to Alberta on another commercial flight so she could attend the swearing-in of her new cabinet.

CBC News said the auditor’s review found she could have returned on the prime minister’s plane in time for the swearing-in.

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Fake passengers booked on plane so Alta. premier could fly alone

  1. Well,

    Considering Redford was a former UN lawyer who bought off the unions to get her job as Premier…who is really surprised at her behaviour or her sense of entitlement?

    this is what happens when a Conservative Party gets hijacked by Liberals.

    Good thing the Fed version haven’t been trapped.

  2. Gosh, she’s the same as Ralph was….and all the other PC leaders.

    • There is something about the cons in Alberta that they share closely with their cousins, the cons in Ottawa, they both like ‘ ghosts ‘, Redford likes ‘ ghost passengers ‘ and Harper likes ‘ ghost writers ‘.

      • That’s besides their love for there ‘ entitlement to their entitlements ‘.

  3. She is one big disappointment. While I agree she cannot get away with the things Klein had no problem getting away with, she is still wrong.

    • I dunno. Do you have any rules for Premiers on this stuff?

      Ralph did what he wanted…..so did the rest of them.

      A woman gets in there and suddenly the province comes all over virtuous.

      For a huge province, and a lot of required travel….this is nit-picky sexism.

  4. > Sadly, the sense of entitlement is merely the visible tip of the iceberg the size of which represents a tectonic shift in the moral conduct of our culture, or we as individuals.
    > It shows itself in the theater of politics and business most easily but it is throughout our society. It is something that will be very, very difficult to change let alone eradicate.
    > I still remember that news clip on television of one of our “Honourable” member of Parliament uttering the unforgettable phrase, “I am entitled to my entitlements”. It is right up there with the con man saying, “Trust me”. It gives this writer no pleasure to acknowledge this state of affairs.
    > There must be an attitude on the part of the general public of zero tolerance for this stuff.

    • But as it turned out….he WAS entitled to his entitlements.

      When you sign a contract guaranteeing you specific items….then yes, you are entitled to them.

      • They, the politicians, give themselves many more entitlements than the rest of us could ever hope for.

        • Um….we elect them. They aren’t aliens you know.

      • > Thank you for your reply to my posting. While I do agree with the essence of your reply, from a legal point of view, the political optics of this are terrible.
        > As for the comment from that former Member of our Parliament with regard to “entitlements” it is certainly, as you write, within the letter of the law but we must remember that these are the people who actually make our laws, so, to this writer anyway, the balance of moral hazard is tipped unfairly.
        > These men and women are offered the right to use the word “Honourable” with their name because, simply put, it is an honour; they are expected, then, to conduct themselves in an honourable manner which means beyond reproach, of impeccable character. This further means not only displaying the reality of propriety but also the appearance of propriety.
        > To this writer we have plenty of such misconduct right here in Quebec so we are not immune from such unacceptable behaviour. The whole country needs a reset on its mortal compass; it is badly off true North!

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