Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Now This Is The Way To Do It

 Amid all the kerfuffle over the Alberta PCs and their spending entitlements and no accountablity, Wildrose is setting the example.   Leader Danielle Smith has traveled to the US where she will be touring for the next 21 days.  She has posted her expenses on the Wildrose website. and in great detail right down to a $6.74 breakfast sandwich at the airport concession even though none of the costs will be billed to the Alberta taxpayer.

If you didn’t read the press release for this trip, no doubt you might be wondering, who’s paying for this trip? Here’s the answer. The costs are covered by the US Department of State, and they estimate the expense at $9,080 US for the 21-day program. With politicians’ travel expenses very much in the news lately, I thought you’d be interested in knowing my expenses as we go.
I have always said that international travel is an important part of the Premier’s job and, as Official Opposition Leader and International and Intergovernmental Affairs and Aboriginal Relations Critic, I think it is a necessary part of my job too. My criticism has not been the about the fact that the Premier and her ministers are taking international trips, it’s the eye-popping price tag associated with them. You’ll notice this trip budgets out at about $432/day, whereas most ministeral trips lately have been costing in the range of $2000/person/day (or more). Here are my expenses so far:
$549.59    Coach Flight Ottawa to Washington
$60.00      Baggage Charge
$40.51       Taxi from Ronald Reagan National Airport to Hotel
$32.00      Dinner in the Hotel Restaurant, Chartwell Grill
$682.10  Total to Date
The hotels we are staying at are nice, clean, safe and moderately priced. I’ll post the room charge after I check out of each hotel and get the bill. In the meantime, here are  some pictures of the hotel I’m staying at in Washington so you can check it out for yourself:

Churchill Hotel, Washington, DC
A Typical Room at the Churchill Hotel
UPDATE: Someone tweeted that they wanted me to post the expenses from the Ottawa leg of the trip too. I’m happy to comply in the interest of transparency, but keep in mind none of these costs are being paid for by Alberta taxpayers.
$329.83    Economy Flight Calgary to Ottawa
$21.00      Baggage Charge
$354.82    Lord Elgin Hotel (2 nights @ $157/night+tax)
$11.24       Internet access
$35.00     Taxi to Ottawa Airport
$6.74        Breakfast sandwich and coffee at Airport Concession
$758.63   Total for trip to Ottawa
I took a cab with fellow conference attendee John Carpay to the Lord Elgin Hotel and he kindly picked up the cost. Also, meals and refreshments were included at the conference, so I incurred no additional costs there. Hope that helps fill in the gaps.
Now that's the way to do it.   Alison Redford, take note!