Seventeen months ago Finance Minister Doug Horner announced a three-year salary freeze for public sector managers.
He called it quote “leading by example” – and said it was a symbolic move on the government’s behalf to get their spending under control.
Since then, this government has been besieged by what seems to be an endless parade of entitlement scandals afflicting politicians and top-level officials across government.
These have resulted in public trust in this PC government hitting historic lows.
If ever there was a time for this government to demonstrate to Albertans at least a shred of humility and respect for taxpayers, this would have been it.
Unfortunately, they have failed once again.
Last week, through an Order-in-Council, the PCs approved a salary hike for the highest-level government managers, many of whom are political appointees.
These include all deputy ministers, officials in the Public Affairs Bureau and all of Alberta’s foreign representatives.
Once again, this PC government is breaking another promise on what seems to be a never ending list of broken promises.
But they took it a step further this time.
Adding insult to injury, the PCs have not only broken another promise, this time they tried to sneak it by Albertans.
With many Alberta families now enjoying summer vacation with friends and family, the PC leadership figured they could get away with giving senior appointees and insiders a big raise and no one would notice.
They were wrong.
The PC culture of entitlement did not die.
It lives on.
Albertans can be assured the only way to fix it, is with a new Wildrose government.
New details also emerged this week about the former Premier and her government’s abuse of government aircraft. Frankly, these details are shocking. The Auditor General’s findings show a clear indication that this government has established one set of rules for itself and another set for everyone else.
Falsifying passenger lists, multiple trips for personal use, ignoring cheaper commercial flight options, booking staff on other flights so the Premier could have an empty plane to herself…taken together, these findings appear to warrant a criminal investigation into what is termed under the criminal code as breach of trust.
This issue goes beyond politics. It cuts to the integrity of our highest political office. The fact is, there is simply no way these actions could have been taken without the former Premier, other senior government staff and cabinet ministers knowing full well about it.
Albertans deserve to see accountability on these many documented examples of abuse. It is now up to the government to do the right thing.
On a local note, this has been a full summer of activities and meeting with constituents. Most of June was spent travelling the province as Vice-Chair of the Alberta Economic Futures committee to hear Albertans views on Bills 9 and 10 which deal with Pension Plans.
July was spent meeting you at parades, Stampedes, breakfasts and community celebrations. July 15 saw a very well attended town hall meeting in Mirror where good discussions took place with community members and representatives of CN Rail. I look forward to a busy August and September as well.
If you have issues or concerns please feel free to contact my office at #101 4892 46 Street in Lacombe. 403 782 7725 or on Wednesday in Ponoka at 403 783 7280. Email: Lacombe.email@example.com.