ALBERTA

Alberta Fleet Of Government Planes Now For Sale

12/15/2014 03:35 EST | Updated 12/15/2014 03:59 EST
CP/Govt. of Alberta

The Alberta government planes that more or less ended former premier Alison Redford's career have been put up for sale.

The entire four-plane fleet can now be purchased for just $11 million, according to the government website.

Eldon McIlwain, press secretary to Service Alberta Minister Stephen Khan, told the Calgary Herald there has already been interest in purchasing the fleet.

The four planes range in price — the highest being a a 36-seat 1985 DeHavilland Dash 8, with a reserve price of $5.5 million. Two 2006 Beechcraft King Air B200s are listed for $2 million each, while the fourth plane, a 1997 Beechcraft King Air 350, has a reserve price of $1.5 million.

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FOR SALE: Alberta Government Planes

Putting the fleet up for sale was the first decision made by Premier Jim Prentice after he was sworn into office earlier this fall.

"Effective immediately, the premier and ministers will be expected to fly commercial as the primary method of transportation," Prentice told a legislature news conference at the time.

The planes had become symbols of waste, excess and entitlement that brought down former premier Alison Redford in March.

She quit the top job as public opinion polls plummeted and ahead of a reported caucus and party revolt.

Auditor general Merwan Saher reported that Redford had used the "aura of power" of the premier's office to take the planes for personal trips for herself, her pre-teen daughter, and her daughter's friends.

He said Redford's staff even booked phantom passengers on the planes so that Redford could fly solo.

Government MLAs also used the planes to fly to political events under the guise of official government business.

Saher said the bottom line showed that the fleet cost $3.9 million more than comparable alternatives in 2012.

With files from the Canadian Press