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Wildrose files point of privilege on government plane use

EDMONTON, AB (March 12, 2014): The Wildrose Official Opposition has filed a point of privilege in the Alberta Legislature today against Health Minister Fred Horne for potentially misleading the Legislature on the use of government planes yesterday. Yesterday, Wildrose revealed that Horne, Premier Alison Redford, Transportation Minister Wayne Drysdale and several senior PC staff used a government plane to attend a PC fundraiser in Grande Prairie on Oct. 25, 2012. 

Horne defended the flight in the Legislature, saying it was legitimate because “we made an announcement” on the Grande Prairie Hospital that day. He also called it “important government business.” However, Wildrose has determined there was no Government of Alberta announcement that day in Grande Prairie. The Premier’s plane landed at 4:32 p.m. and she held a media availability at 5:20 p.m., according to this media advisory put out by the PC party. The fundraiser began at 5:30 p.m.  There were no other events with either Redford or Horne that day in Grande Prairie. The only announcement on the Grande Prairie Hospital that day was made with a press release sent at 4:02 p.m., when Redford and her ministers were in the air. Local media coverage that day only mentions the PC fundraiser. There is no mention of a health care announcement in the city. The Grande Prairie Daily Herald Tribune reported, “The announcement came just hours before Premier Alison Redford touched down in the city for the Northern Alberta Leader’s Dinner.” Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith says there no legitimate reason for Redford or her ministers to have used the government plane that day – and Horne telling the Legislature there was an announcement was false. Smith will give Horne one more chance today in Question Period to come clean before proceeding with the point of privilege. “It’s apparent at this point that what Minister Horne said in the Legislature yesterday wasn’t true. There was no Government of Alberta announcement in Grande Prairie and thus there was no legitimate reason for them to have used the government aircraft,” Smith said. “The only reason they did was so they could attend the PC party fundraiser that night. The party should reimburse taxpayers immediately.”