this blog has moved to a new address: daveberta.ca

Please update your RSS, bookmarks, and links to http://daveberta.ca.

Monday, September 15, 2008

international mlas of mystery.

Alberta's opposition parties are taking aim at the $300,000 summer travel bug caught by Alberta Tory MLAs.

$300,000 could be a bit a bit excessive, but I don't have a large problem with our elected officials traveling to international conferences (if anything, there is the off-chance that some of Alberta's Conservative MLAs might become a little more well-rounded because of it -- and that would be a better thing for everyone). Though I disagree with much of this current government's agenda, I believe that it's important to understand the realities of the increasingly global world we are living in, and we won't do that by cloistering our elected officials inside provincial borders.

As long as Ed Stelmach and Lloyd Snelgrove aren't spending their time hanging out beside the hotel pool wearing speedos and sipping mohitos (there's a mental image for the start of your week), I believe that there are a lot more obvious cases of government misspending or mismanagement that could be taken aim at.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

"As long as Ed Stelmach and Lloyd Snelgrove aren't spending their time hanging out beside the hotel pool wearing speedos and sipping mohitos"

EW.

eh said...

The main problem here is that the return is so intangible. I don't agree that spending $300 000 is worth "the off-chance that some of Alberta's MLAs might become a little more well-rounded." I think having itemized spending reports made public would go a long way to decrease the perception that these trips are quasi-vacations for Alberta's officials to hob-nob with their foreign counterparts. If all of the expenditures are legitimate and frugal, I don't see why this would be a problem for the AB government. Perhaps, the MLAs could even write a short summary of the benefits of their international excursions.

Duncan said...

$300,000 divided by 62 MLAs works out to $4,839 an MLA - that doesn't sound too high to me, maybe a in-Canada trip per MLA, or one out-of-country trip for every other MLA. Without sounding like I travel a lot, I spent close to that on summer travel for work - two conferences, two trips to Calgary and a trip to Lethbridge.

Duncan said...

AH! - I meant divide by 72, giving an average of $4,166 per Tory, an even lower number.

Anonymous said...

eh said:I don't agree that spending $300 000 is worth "the off-chance that some of Alberta's MLAs might become a little more well-rounded."

How else do you propose this to happen? As long as the same old Conseravtives get reelected nothing is going to change.

Ken Linseman said...

I work in the gov.

The Tories have actually improved the reporting process admirably over the past few years, certainly compared to other jurisdictions.

Eh: a short post mission summary.

There's really no point to something like this, since it's written by the bureaucrats with the Minister's name to sign. That's just how gov works, minister don't actually write anything, they just take credit for it. In the press release, released a set # of days before the mission, has a blurb about what is expected on a mission. Therefore, any post-mission summary would more or less just say that everything was accomplished that they set out to do.

Ministers just have to travel. There's doors they can open that no one else can.
And there's some of the "we won 72 seats, if we want to travel, we're going to travel."

Anonymous said...

You seem to be saying that only Conservative MLAs go on junkets - I can assure you, the Liberals do it, too.