08/08/2014 03:19 EDT | Updated 10/08/2014 05:59 EDT

Wildrose Leader Calls For Public Inquiry In Wake Of Auditor General Report


Wildrose leader Danielle Smith is calling for a public inquiry into the spending practices of the Alberta government.

In a scathing report released Thursday, Auditor General Merwan Saher found that Redford used government planes for personal and partisan reasons.

Smith says Saher’s report raises more questions about how often the Alberta government breaks spending rules and policies. 

"We've got junior staff members who are finding workarounds and breaking the rules because of the 'aura of power' that is emanating from the premier's office,” she said.

“The only way to get to the bottom of it will be to have a full public inquiry."

Smith wants the three Progressive Conservative leadership candidates to commit to holding an inquiry when one of them becomes premier in September. 

MLA apologizes for flight 

The auditor general found that government planes were used for partisan purposes on eight occasions. No government business was conducted on three of those trips. 

A flight to Grande Prairie on Oct. 25, 2012 took Redford and other MLAs to and from the Northern Alberta Leader’s Dinner. No government business was conducted on that trip, Saher found. 

Calgary-Varsity MLA Donna Kennedy-Glans issued an apology on Friday for being on one of those flights.

“I...did not make sufficient enquiries about logistics of the flight that evening, after the dinner, from Grande Prairie to Calgary,” she stated.

“I apologize for making assumptions about the integrity of the flight logistics.”

According to government flight manifests, Wayne Drysdale and Fred Horne accompanied Redford on the flight from Edmonton to Grande Prairie.

Kennedy-Glans, Horne, Wayne Cao, Christine Cusanelli, Cal Dallas, and Ken Hughes were on the flight from Grande Prairie to Calgary.

Kennedy-Glans resigned from the PC caucus over Redford's leadership. She recently asked MLAs if she could be reinstated. 


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