August 02, 2012
REALITY CHECK: AHS expense scandal: Part of a history of corruption
EDMONTON, AB (August 2, 2012): The PC government cannot pretend as though the $350,000 in lavish expense claims charged to Alberta taxpayers by a now-ousted Superboard executive was somehow an isolated incident, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.
In reality, the 41-year-old PC government is to blame for creating and entrenching a culture of entitlement from the highest levels of government on down through government MLAs and senior government officials, said the Wildrose. The Official Opposition released the followed breakdown revealing the pattern of behavior from the PC government in abusing Albertans’ hard-earned tax dollars:
- $400,000 to Kelley Charlebois for ‘oral advice:’ Former PC Health Minister Gary Mar, appointed as Alberta’s Asia representative by Premier Alison Redford, paid his friend and former assistant Charlebois $400,000 with no evidence of work to show for it. Charlebois was just recently named Executive Director of the PC party, a choice approved by the sitting Premier.
- 34% pay raise voted in by Premier Alison Redford and other members of Cabinet: Shortly after the election in 2008, Premier Alison Redford – then a member of the provincial cabinet – voted to give herself and other members of cabinet a staggering 34% pay raise.
- $1,000,000 severance package send offs: Former PC Premier Ed Stelmach and PC MLA Ken Kowalski top the list of outgoing MLAs who received exorbitant severance packages upon leaving politics this year.
- $1,000 a month ‘no meet committee:’ PCs set up committee pay structure that sees MLAs collect $1,000 a month for sitting on a committee that does no work and does not meet.
- $450,000 in bonuses for Superboard executives: About a dozen AHS executives receive fat bonus cheques despite the Superboard missing virtually all of its key targets on performance measures for emergency rooms and wait times.
- Thousands received in illegal donations: The PC party has solicited and accepted tens of thousands of dollars in political contributions from taxpayer-funded government agencies and departments, including Alberta Health Services and the Alberta Treasury Branch.
- $328,000 in international travel junkets this year alone: Premier Redford and her cabinet are on a record-setting travel pace in 2012 – racking up trips across the globe at taxpayers expense with little to no accountability on what money was spent on and what value for dollars Albertans receive.
“Over the past 41 years, the PCs have allowed this kind of entitlement and abuse of tax dollars to happen time and time again,” Wildrose Finance Critic Rob Anderson said. “This is the culture the PCs have created. It shouldn’t surprise anybody when something like this happens. It’s what having 41 years of the same government looks like.” “Our front-line health workers are scrambling every day to hold our health care system together, meanwhile their bosses are running up obscene tabs on everything from meals to cars to butlers,” Wildrose Health Critic Heather Forsyth said. “Albertans should be outraged any time this government tries to claim budget constraints in the health care system.”