Alberta Opposition asks auditor general to review Kenney adviser London trips

EDMONTON – The Opposition in Alberta is asking the auditor general to review travel spending by Premier Jason Kenney’s office in light of several trips to London by one of his advisers.

NDP ethics critic Heather Sweet says it’s time the auditor review whether Kenney’s office is following rules for authorizing such travel, and whether such trips are getting value for the money spent.

“Kenney and the UCP need to get their story straight. Albertans deserve to know what their tax dollars are being used for and what they’re getting in return. We need the Auditor General to investigate,” said Sweet.

The NDP revealed on Wednesday that David Knight-Legg, the premier’s principal adviser, has in recent months made four trips to London at a total cost of almost $19,000.

Kenney’s office says Knight-Legg has been working to attract investment in areas that include energy and high tech, and his expenses are reasonable given the high cost of staying in London.

The office declined to give details of Knight-Legg’s meetings, citing corporate confidences and the possibility that doing so might tip off opponents of Alberta’s energy industry.

Sweet says more information is necessary to justify Knight-Legg’s spending, which totals $45,000 since he was hired in May at an annual salary of $194,000.