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Minister Dallas must explain the merits of 'Travel Scout': Fox

EDMONTON, AB (August 15, 2014): Alberta’s International and Intergovernmental Relations (IIR) Minister Cal Dallas must explain how a position like “Travel Scout” could exist under his watch, Wildrose IIR Critic Rod Fox said today.

On Thursday, reports revealed that Michelle Tetreault – a former aide to Premier Alison Redford – expensed almost $330,000 and earned an annual salary of $127,827 to serve as Redford’s official “Travel Scout.” Her duties were to experience foreign hotels, restaurants and even public restrooms, before Redford arrived at the location. Tetreault worked for IIR then, and she still does now.

Fox called the pay and perks “grossly excessive.” He said Dallas needs to explain how these associated costs were good value for taxpayer dollars.

“Once again, we’re seeing another clear example of a PC minister who allowed waste and excess to go unchecked under his watch. This travel scout position evolved from doing simple advance work into ensuring a life of luxury for Ms. Redford and her PC colleagues,” Fox said. “Mr. Dallas needs to explain why he continued to allow costs to run out of control in his ministry.”

Fox said Dallas, who’s currently under fire for his partisan use of government planes, has an established history of allowing excess to run rampant and turning IIR into a safety net for Redford’s former staff.

“From the massive pay and perks and all-expense-paid positions given to failed PC candidate Gary Mar and Redford’s former assistant Ryan Barberio, to news of this travel scout position, it doesn’t seem like Mr. Dallas takes scrutinizing where tax dollars are being spent very seriously,” Fox said. “IIR should be a ministry that reflects the integrity and professionalism of Alberta. Sadly, with these latest scandals, it is bogged down under the weight of a tired and out-of-touch 43-year-old PC government.”