Tories under fire for London spending
Published Tuesday, October 2, 2012 6:37AM MDT
Last Updated Tuesday, October 2, 2012 6:38PM MDT
The Redford government is in some hot water over about $113,000 that was found to be wasted as part of their trip to the Olympic Games in London this past summer.
It was revealed on Monday that the seven day trip to London by a delegation headed by Redford cost taxpayers over $500,000.
But more surprisingly; of that total, about $113,000 was wasted on hotel rooms that stayed vacant for the entire trip.
Redford defended her trip as a whole, saying that it was very important for Alberta to be seen and heard at the global venue. “From our perspective, it was important for us to be there. We worked very hard, I understand, to recoup the costs.”
On the mission to show off Alberta, the delegation originally included 47 people.
It was scaled back when the government realized they could complete their goals with a smaller team.
That resulted in 18 people staying home, and 18 hotel rooms staying vacant.
By the time the government decided to make the change, it was too late to cancel the rooms and they were stuck with the bill.
NDP leader Brian Mason called the situation ‘absurd.’
“That is an awful lot of money, an awful lot of hotel rooms and if they can’t plan better than that, they shouldn’t be the government.”
Wildrose MLA Bruce McAllister says the wasted funds could have been put to better use.
"There are so many areas in this province crying for financial help; infrastructure, health care, and education," says McAllister. "That we could blatantly waste more than $100,000 frightens me."
"And then, to try to justify it, frightens me."
The government ministers who were part of the delegation say that despite the hotel issue, it was a great trip for drumming up international business.