Cal Dallas, Red Deer South MLA and minister of international and intergovernmental relations, has undergone recent scrutiny after last week’s release of the Alberta Auditor General’s report which detailed that the Progressive Conservatives misused public resources.
In the report, made public by Auditor General Merwan Saher last Thursday, it stated that Dallas was one of eight MLAs who used government aircraft to attend a PC party fundraiser in Grande Prairie in October 2012.
Dallas has made comments regarding the issue to other media outlets, but was not available for comment at the time of press for the Express.
However, Dallas’ office did say that he did not fly to Grande Prairie on a government plane, but did fly from Grande Prairie to Calgary on a government plane as he was on government business. Dallas hosted the annual Consular Corps on Oct. 26, 2012 in Calgary. His office said the event included more than 100 diplomatic representatives plus provincial government representatives.
In recent days, the Wildrose party has addressed the issue and has called on Dallas to make a public apology. Donna Kennedy-Glans, MLA for Calgary-Varsity, who was also on the flight, has publicly apologized.
“Minister Dallas needs to do the right thing here,” said Wildrose International and Intergovernmental Relations Critic Rod Fox. “He was wrong. The auditor’s report confirms this. He should follow the lead of his colleague and apologize.”
Fox added it’s not the job of government planes to fly MLAs from party events to government events.
“If the PC party wants MLAs to attend its fundraisers, it can fly them to and from the event,” said Fox. “The Auditor General has clearly ruled that this flight broke the rules and for Mr. Dallas to suggest otherwise is simply not true. Albertans should not be on the hook for this type of flagrant abuse of tax dollars.”