EDMONTON, AB (October 9, 2014): Luxury draperies, bullet proof doors, porcelain and stone wall tile, custom millwork and other pricey upgrades and change orders to the SkyPalace have pushed the total price tag for the penthouse suite atop Edmonton’s Federal Building to over $2 million, the Wildrose announced today.
Wildrose has released new data - obtained under Freedom of Information legislation – regarding specific additions to the SkyPalace and how they have dramatically increased the cost of the controversial 11th floor suite project, which former Premier Alison Redford had built on top of the building to as a personal residence. It will now serve as an exclusive meeting facility for government insiders. You can view the document here.
Government ministers and deputy ministers have refused to cost out the changes to the 11th floor and have only admitted to $173,100 that they say was spent on architects to develop the design. Even the Auditor General was unable to get a clear number from the government.
However, the FOIP has identified over 1,286 change orders to the original Federal Building renovation contract totaling almost $70 million.
Of these, 96 change orders were related to the 11th floor penthouse totaling $2,088,000. Included in that amount are multiple change orders to make the two bedroom residential suite similar to the five-star Hay Adams Hotel in Washington DC.
Highlights of the SkyPalace upgrades include:
- $43,000 for stone and porcelain wall and floor tiles
- $97,385 for custom millwork
- $25,851 for paint and vinyl wall coverings
- And $45,555 for draperies
Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith said the SkyPalace debacle not only continues to remind Albertans of the PC culture of entitlement, it also points to extremely poor judgment by Premier Jim Prentice who rewarded the two ministers responsible for it, Wayne Drysdale and Ric McIver, with seats around his cabinet table.
“The data we’ve released today is just more evidence of how deep the PC culture of entitlement goes,” Smith said. “Instead of sending a message that wasting taxpayer dollars won’t be tolerated, Mr. Prentice actually rewarded Mr. McIver and Mr. Drysdale with cabinet posts. Now, the two ministers directly responsible for this mess are in charge of departments totaling $2.4 billion. Mr. Prentice continues to show he’s just more of the same.”
Drysdale and McIver, both Infrastructure Ministers under Redford, each tried to take credit for cancelling the SkyPalace, but a report by the Auditor General in August showed that work on the project continues to this day.
Wildrose Human Services and Seniors Critic Kerry said the SkyPalace saga is an insult to the thousands of Albertans waiting for surgeries and long-term care beds in addition to thousands of desperately needed new classrooms.
“The PC government has a sad track record of failing to put the things that are important to Albertans first, and the SkyPalace continues to show that,” Towle said. “It’s time to send the PCs a message: We need elected officials focused on getting things done for everyday Albertans instead of getting things done for their friends and insiders.”