Alberta Finance Minister Doug Horner says he will not let the Opposition Wildrose party bully him into stepping down.
Horner is rejecting last week's calls from opposition to resign over the controversy surrounding former premier Alison Redford's travel expenses.
In a letter sent to the majority of Alberta's PC caucus and obtained by several media outlets, Horner says that it's "blatantly false" he misled Albertans about Redford's use of government planes and other public resources.
“Friends it has come to my attention that some of you think I should step down because of this and some of the other difficult files that I have had the privilege to manage over the last two years. I will not, the truth is my defence,” Horner wrote, reports the Calgary Herald.
Albera's auditor general concluded in a report that Redford and her office used public resources inappropriately and for personal and partisan purposes.
Auditor General Merwan Saher said that week Horner must accept responsibility for how the fleet was used.
Horner's office manages Alberta’s Air Transportation Services (ATS) Program, which oversees all flights using government aircraft.
"Mr. Horner has completely and utterly failed to do his job, and the auditor general's report confirms as much," said Wildrose critic Kerry Towle last week.
NDP critic Deron Bilous said it's clear Redford did not act alone and that "all cabinet members are implicated and that there is a unified effort to cover it up."
Story continues after the slideshow:
However, Horner said ministers of each department are ulimately responsible for their travel expenses and plane trips.
“I do not fear the Wild Rose Alliance because I believe Albertans will see thru their tactics at the right time," he concluded in his email to insiders, according to 630 CHED.
"I do fear the loss of the respect of colleagues and supporters because of the misleading spin that is being attempted here. So to those who believe I should resign over this, the answer is no," Horner concluded in his email.
Horner pledged after the report's release to immediately implement the Auditor General's recommendations related to government travel and would also look into the current airline reservation system.
With files from the Canadian Press