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Friday, January 16, 2009

mr. hancock goes to washington.

Besides that he's a good buddy of Alberta's U.S. Ambassador Gary Mar, can anyone give me a good reason why Albertans are paying $3,000 to send Education Minister Dave Hancock to Washington D.C. to watch the Obama Inauguration?

If Klein-era style cutbacks are on Premier Ed Stelmach's mind, I'd imagine these are the sorts of frivolities that would be on the chopping block.

12 comments:

Chris LaBossiere said...

Dave:

I am a fan of Dave's, but I must agree that this is a waste of our taxpayer money.

Of course I am starting to believe that all politicians of nearly any stripe, will leap at any chance for a junket, and the Obama Inauguration woudl be a cool one.

Anonymous said...

I have a hard time getting worked up about $3000.

I'd pay that to get a Tory cabinet minister out of Alberta for a couple of days. Hell, let's pass the hat.

SD said...

It would seem that this would be a better fit for Intergovernmental Affairs, Energy, or even Environment, I agree. That said, I'm certain Minister Hancock will be a fine ambassador. I think we can agree that it will be the meetings, networking, and lobbying that is done before and after the ceremony that is why we are sending a Minister and not just to "watch the ceremony". The Leg gets CNN just like everywhere else.

Anonymous said...

SD: Isn't that what Albertans are supposed to be paying Gary Mar to do?

Chandler Kent said...

Anonymous at 9:54 - If hancock is doing meetings relating to his portfolio, or other portfolios, sometimes politicians want to talk to the decision-makers. mar is a door opener. It's analogous to lobbyists - they maintain the relationships, then take company executives to the important meetings.

kj said...

Hancock's itinerary:

January 18: Depart Edmonton

January 19-20: Attend various inauguration events

January 21:Meetings with the Alberta-Washington Office

January 22:Depart Washington D.C.

As you can see, there are many pressing events in this schedule that need to personal oversight of the Minister of Education. Alberta K-12 is a hot topic in DC.

kj said...

From the GOA Press Release: "Canadian Embassy events have attracted high-profile politicians like John McCain."

ooo, John McCain.

Anonymous said...

I'd jump on that junket. What a fun trip.

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind Mr. Hancock was just got back today from another junket to the UK.

http://education.alberta.ca/department/news/2009/january/20090107.aspx

This guy is wracking up some serious frequent taxpayer-funded flyer miles.

Alex said...

Well that settles that. I'm sure that those pressing meetings with the Alberta-Washington office couldn't wait, or couldn't be done by phone or teleconference (or email, even).

I won't say a lot of good things about the Klein government, but I will say this: they did to some extent cut back on ministerial salaries and perks at the same time they were also cutting elsewhere. If spending is going to have to be reigned it (ie. cut), this cabinet might do well to start in their own offices.

KNW said...

You're kidding, right? I'm fairly sure there's an office in the Legislature where some guy is employed in finding all kinds of ways to waste money, just so the Dynasty can claim it's broke and has to make cutbacks.

Anonymous said...

Dave Hancock went to Washington. Gary Mar went to the Democrat convention. Jonathan Dennis went to the Republican convention.

Sense that this party is falling apart for being too broad?