What a week in Alberta politics. First, the damning Alberta Royalty Review Report and Auditor General's Report slammed Ed Stelmach's Tory Government for failing to collect BILLIONS of dollars in resource revenues owed to Albertans over the past 15 years. Then only days later, Ed Stelmach was refusing to fire his Cabinet Ministers responsible for the Department of Energy royalty scandal.
Now, it appears that the Stelmach Tories are being hit with new emerging scandals to deal with.
CBC has discovered that Stelmach's Calgary Lieutenant, Deputy Premier and Calgary-Glenmore Tory MLA Ron Stevens, used his government credit card to make a three-day 'pit stop' in Hawaii on a 2003 winter trip to Australia for government business.
Credit card statements obtained under Alberta's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act show meals and drinks for Stevens, his wife and four others during their Honolulu stay were paid for with government cards.Stevens defended the spending as saving Albertans money by taking a three-day tax-payer funded Hawaiian vacation.
Earlier this week Auditor General Fred Dunn revealed that former Tory Minister and leadership candidate Mark Norris and his assistant Sasha Angus used government credit cards to rack up nearly $50,000 in personal expenses with little record keeping (including for a bachelor party in Las Vegas). So, I think Albertans can be forgiven if it's a little hard to take Stevens' 'word for it.'