I refused to support this short-sighted move.
It is true that the current government, specifically former Premier Alison Redford, have been perceived as grossly misusing the planes. But selling them off would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
Alberta is a big and vibrant province with things happening all over, and the provincial government needs the mobility to get around. I don't think chartering and renting aircraft is the answer.
It is true that some other provinces (namely, New Brunswick) have eliminated their government aircraft fleets. But there are differences between those provinces and Alberta. I think the Wildrosers would be better off asking for changes in the policies governing the use of these aircraft. Suggestions;
- Tighten up use of the aircraft to make sure they are used for Alberta Government business only.
- Make them available to ALL those sitting in the House, including the Wildrose caucus - after all, they are Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition! They should also be available to top level government officials.
- Have the pilots complete an extended log entry for every flight.
- Have an annual report available to all MLAs showing who flew where and for what reason. That could be extracted from the log book entries.
- Retire the older aircraft and possibly reduce the fleet to two or three planes from the now four.