What the provincial government proclaims is “the toughest and most transparent expense disclosure policy in Canada” came into effect October 1. To kick it off, Premier Alison Redford released her travel, meal and “hosting” expenses from 2008, when she was first elected as an MLA, through to 2012.
Redford said in a press release the new expense disclosure policy was created because “Albertans expect accountability on how their tax dollars are used... [and] must have confidence that the business of government is conducted with openness and transparency.”
The other recent expense report released to the public on October 1 was from the provincial delegation sent to the Olympic Games held this summer in London. Ministers Heather Klimchuk and Christine Cusanelli participated in the mission, intended to promote Alberta’s culture, and defended the $518,280 price tag during a press conference.
“We weren’t the only Canadian province to send representatives, but we were unique in bringing some of our brightest citizens in the flesh,” says Culture Minister Klimchuk.
“We had two primary goals in mind: to increase investment, open new markets and create new opportunities for the province’s energy, tourism and culture industries and to advocate for Alberta on the world stage,” concurred Cusanelli, Minister of Tourism, Parks and Recreation. “Our program in London was a long-term investment in Alberta’s future.”
The new expense reporting requirements apply to all ministers, deputy ministers and their staff, members of the Conservative caucus, senior officials and executive managers in public service. Expenses will be posted online every other month, starting in December.