UCP top advisor billed taxpayers $45,000 for lavish trips London: NDP

For the second time in as many weeks, the UCP Government is being accused of mismanaging taxpayer dollars.

The NDP Opposition released documents on Wednesday showing that David Knight Legg, a principle advisor to Premier Jason Kenney, billed Albertans for over $45,000 in expenses over six months, including $18,000 relating to four recent trips to London, England.

Heather Sweet, NDP critic for democracy and ethics said Knight Legg was staying in five-star hotels while overseas.

“What on Earth could this close adviser of the Premier be doing in London?” she asked. “While the Premier is hiking taxes, cutting funding for schools and hospitals, disbanding firefighting teams and throwing Albertans off the senior’s drug plan amid claims the province is broke, David Knight-Legg was living a life of luxury in London at Alberta taxpayer’s expense.”

David Knight Legg was hired on as an advisor to Kenney in May 2019, with a salary of $195,000.

The NDP is calling on the province to release a full itinerary for a full itinerary for the London meetings.

“Otherwise Albertans have no way of knowing if this former international banker was conducting his own business and making the taxpayer pick up the bill,” Sweet said.

Matt Wolf, Executive Director of Issues Management for the Premier of Alberta responded with a series of tweets.

“Under the NDP’s watch, Alberta saw tens of billions of dollars in job-creating investment flee our province,” he tweeted. “Mr. Knight-Legg’s role involves working to bring that investment back to Alberta, including meeting with companies and investors. The fact that the socialist NDP doesn’t understand that London is a global financial capital shows just how ignorant they truly are.”

Wolf added, “Mr. Knight-Legg is an experienced, highly-credentialed professional, with excellent global connections. We are fortunate that he is now working for the people of Alberta.”

There was widespread criticism last week towards Kenney for spending $16,000 of taxpayers’ money on private flights for himself, several other conservative premiers and their wives from a photo-op in Calgary to a meeting in Saskatoon.

“The premier must apologize for the ongoing pattern of entitlement and frivolous spending of Albertans’ tax dollars in his office,” Sweet implored.

(With file from NDP media release)