While southern Alberta began the first steps toward flood recovery last June, then-premier Alison Redford was travelling to Jasper for a series of brief meetings and some rest and relaxation.
Redford faced intense scrutiny for the trip earlier this year, but little was known about her travel arrangements and how she spent her time while in the mountain town on the weekend of June 28-30, 2013.
However, her itinerary, obtained by the Edmonton Journal though freedom of information legislation, shows the former premier flew to Jasper on a government plane for two hours of meetings over the weekend. She brought along her daughter and a friend of her daughter.
According to CBC News, Redford stayed at the luxury Jasper Park Lodge, where she met with the general managers of the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel and Jasper Park Lodge, “to discuss the current state of tourism in Banff National Park and Jasper National Park, as well as the impact of the 2013 Floods on Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper."
Redford also met for 30 minutes with Wendy Wacko, an Alberta artist and filmmaker, as well as a 45-minute meeting with Jasper National Park chief superintendent Greg Fenton.
The province’s travel and expenses database shows taxpayers were billed $1,406 for two rooms at the hotel during the weekend.
All the meetings took place at the Jasper Park Lodge, reports Sun News, and while Redford finished her meetings at 3:15 p.m. on June 29, she returned to Calgary the next day.
"A government plane flew empty twice to accommodate the travellers — once after dropping them off in Hinton and again to pick them up on Sunday afternoon," notes the Journal.
Redford did not respond to repeat requests from media to explain the trip back in April, reports CBC News.
She did, however, reimburse taxpayers $296 for the cost of taking her daughter's friend on the trip earlier this year, saying "taxpayers should not have to pay any of the costs associated with my daughter's friends' travel," reports Sun News.
She resigned as premier March 23, after mounting concerns about her expenses morphed into questions about her top-down leadership style.
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