Alberta Politics

Redford Tories big international travellers in January 2014

Alberta MLA Travel
Since November 2011, Alberta’s cabinet ministers and government MLAs have travelled to 24 countries on official government business. By the end of January 2014, it will be 26.

Alberta’s Progressive Conservative MLAs are kicking off another year of international travel as Premier Alison Redford, cabinet ministers and backbenchers check their luggage and rack up the air mile points with flights touching down at all points across the globe.

Departing on January 9, Ms. Redford will circle the globe on a sixteen day trip that will see her visit New Dehli, Mumbai and Bangalore, India and then to Davos, Switzerland to promote Alberta’s oil. She will be joined at the beginning of her trip by Intergovernmental Affairs minister Cal Dallas, Human Services minister Manmeet Bhullar and Edmonton-Ellerslie MLA Naresh Bhardwaj at the Petrotech 2014 conference.

Mr. Bhullar and Mr. Bhardwaj will join Ms. Redford for her trip to India (Update: No public itinerary has been released for Mr. Bhullar and Mr. Bhardwaj’s trip to India, so it is unclear how long they will be travelling through that country), but Mr. Dallas will split off the from the premier with a visit to Singapore. In May 2012, the Alberta government announced plans to open new trade offices in India and Singapore, as well as in Brazil and the United States.

Labour minister Thomas Lukaszuk will visit Harbin, Shanghai and Hangzhou, China from January 3 to 10, where he will sign memorandums of understanding with Chinese government science departments and attend the opening ceremony of the Harbin Ice Festival.  It is unclear whether he will learn about the People’s Republic approach to workplace safety and workers rights to fit with his new role as Labour minister.

This will be the fourth visit to Harbin by an Alberta cabinet minister since 2012.

Agriculture minister Verlyn Olson leaves for Oklahoma City, Oklahoma today to attend the Minister at the Legislative Agriculture Chairs Summit. Mr. Olson will be accompanied by Stony Plain MLA Ken Lemke. They are scheduled to return to Alberta on January 6.

Strathcona-Sherwood Park MLA Dave Quest and Edmonton-Gold Bar MLA David Dorward are heading to sunny San Antonio, Texas to attend a Ports-to-Plains Alliance meeting from January 5 to 8.

Fourth-term PC backbencher Alana DeLong is headed on two trips this month. The Calgary-Bow MLA will attend Pacific North West Economic Region legislative visits in Olympia, Washington and Boise, Idaho from January 13 to 16 and in Juneau, Alaska from January 21 to 23.

The estimated cost for these international trips, including travel, accommodation and meals for politicians and staff in January 2014 is estimated at $218,160.

Map: MLA travel from November 2011 to December 2013

View Alberta Cabinet Minister and MLA Travel November 2011-December 2013 in a larger map

Since my last update in September 2013, government cabinet ministers and MLAs made trips to Istanbul, San Antonio, Washington DC, Shanghai, Harbin, Seoul, Daegu, Beijing, Tokyo, Chicago, Warsaw and London. Since November 2011, Alberta’s cabinet ministers and MLAs have travelled to 24 countries on official government business. By the end of January 2014, it will be 26.

10 replies on “Redford Tories big international travellers in January 2014”

We have a federal government Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and our federal tax dollars go towards supporting that activity. There is no need for provincial taxpayers to support this duplication of effort, which is nothing more than political junkets.

Maybe I’m uninformed, but what exactly is involved in “promoting Alberta’s oil”? Does Alberta-brand petroleum products have added vitamins and nutrients to help growing automobiles stay healthy?

I agree, it’s way better to have another government promoting our interests. I mean, if Justin Trudeau takes power I’m sure that he’ll have the best interests of Alberta’s economy at heart.

Yes, and the province is in such dire straits that it is important to freeze public servants’ salaries for 6 years (total) while we work like dogs and get treated like dog crap. Awesome.

LMB is right. We should keep running deficits just so we can pay government workers more. That’s a great economic policy.

The federal government has really cut back travel. This from a federal employee. Major hoops for any travel now. I’m not surprised to see the province having to take up the slack, appearing at conferences, trade shows, etcetera.

I don’t necessarily have a problem with provincial politicians making international trips. There is value in some of this travel.

I wonder what would happen if the provincial government in Edmonton was bringing a very different political message on the international stage than the federal government in Ottawa? Who speaks for Alberta on the international stage in this case? Who speaks for Canada?

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