Alberta Politics

Map: Alberta cabinet ministers catch the international travel bug.

“The Redford government spent more than half a million dollars on its trip to the London Olympics earlier this year, including about $113,000 in hotel rooms that were not used…” – Edmonton Journal reporter Keith Gerein

According to the Journal, the $518,280 trip sent 29 Albertans to London including Tory Premier Alison Redford, Culture Minister Heather Klimchuk, Tourism, Parks and Recreation Minister Christine Cusanelli, government officials, artists and performers including Corb Lund and Donovan Workun.

While the trip to the London Olympics has sticker shock, it is small potatoes in comparison to the Government of Alberta’s $14 million splash at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, where Premier Ed Stelmach and cabinet ministers hosted Olympic attendees on a $499 per ticket luxury train to Whistler and showered them with gifts that included iPod Touchs and White Cowboy Hats.

I understand the value of sending cabinet ministers on these trips to promote our province abroad and I generally believe it is in our best interest, but there reaches a certain point when return on investment needs to be demonstrated.

Over the past eleven months, Premier Redford, cabinet ministers,  and backbench Tory MLAs have traveled extensively on government business. The trips have taken Alberta Government officials to five continents and more than twelve countries, including numerous trips to Washington DC, New York, and Hong Kong.

I have created a Google Map tracking the international travel of Premier Redford, cabinet ministers, and backbench Tory MLAs since November 2011. Zoom in and click the icons to read who traveled where and when.

View Alberta Cabinet Minister and MLA Travel November 2011-October 2012 in a larger map

Note: Travel dates and locations listed on this map were found in media releases published on the Government of Alberta website.

19 replies on “Map: Alberta cabinet ministers catch the international travel bug.”

@joel Trips taken by Non-cabinet Tory MLAs are included in this map. I don’t think Opposition MLAs in Alberta do much (or any) international travel on the public dime.

@daveberta Kerry Towle & other new Wildrose MLAs went to Chicago to “learn the legislative process”. Not sure why it was necessary to go to Chicago on the public dime.

I’m sure the GOA frames the international trips as an investment in our economy. Some supporting evidence, even anecdotal, would reassure citizens of their ROE.

I’m not too sure how Stephen Khan could have been in India on September 27th and at the AUMA in Edmonton at the same time??? Another MLA in India, perhaps….or un-used hotel rooms (LOL).

@Maryanne: Thanks again for the comment. You are correct that Stephen Khan postponed his trip, I missed that development and have edited the map accordingly. Here is the story as reported in the Edmonton Journal:

Minister Stephen Khan postpones trip to Asia


Enterprise and Advanced Education Minister Stephen Khan has postponed his trip to Asia to attend services for former Premier Peter Lougheed.

Lougheed died Sept. 13, days before Kahn and his executive assistant were scheduled to travels to China, Singapore and India for two weeks.

Press secretary Marie Iwanow said the trip will be rescheduled, but a date has not yet been confirmed.

The cost of the original trip was roughly $43,000, and expected to include stops in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Delhi and Mumbai.

Khan was expected to meet with technology organizations, universities, local governments and companies.

For the most part people, it is called “the business of Alberta”, a 40 billion a year operation which is the best in Canada. Just think if the 9 billion dollars going to Kweebec every year, stayed here, and showed up on Albertas books also. As the talk show host laments the fact that no one from govt. will appear on his show, while he constantly bashes them, while they run this province, he daily runs to the opposition whose only contribution to this great place, is criticism. If Redford wants to have a bottle of wine I consider that money better spent, for someone who is contributing to Alberta, than some of the support recipients I know who can barley walk when in public but, just add some booze and watch them do the John travolta on a dance floor.

Yeah, I’m right impressed.

Thanks for stepping up and providing actual journalism in a mainstream media environment devoid of integrity.

In the end it may be wishful thinking on my part, but I believe that brave people of character like yourself will be valued again, someday.

Many thanks indeed.

I think that every MLA gets one trip paid for by the Leg out of a learning budget. I might be wrong, but I think that’s how Brian Mason became friends with Sarah Palin.

If you’ve ever traveled extensively for work, the glamour of it wears off pretty quick.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *