The costs accumulated by three central Alberta MLAs serving as cabinet ministers varied in the first full month since the provincial election.
The province has released the total amount of office-by-office costs for “goods, supplies, services and other expenses” for May.
The office of Education Minister Adriana LaGrange, Red Deer-North MLA, spent $7,063.18 in May, the most of all Alberta ministers.
“Following the election our government hit the ground running to implement our commitments to Albertans. The costs reported in May reflect the start-up costs associated with staffing our office,” said Colin Aitchison, a spokesman for LaGrange.
“We anticipate this cost will balance out with other ministerial offices in the coming months as everyone else finalizes staffing and start-up costs.”
Sarah Hoffman, opposition critic for education, said “LaGrange needs to produce the receipts and explain to Alberta taxpayers how she spends more on office supplies in a day than some of her colleagues spend in a month.
“She must explain to Alberta families why students are losing teachers and educational assistants, while her office burns through tax dollars at an extravagant rate,” Hoffman said in a media release.
The release states office supply costs for June 2015, the first full month of then-Education Minister David Eggen’s term, were $193.95.
Aitchison said “with our initial staffing complete, we anticipate office expenditures to reduce to cover regular day-to-day operations.”
“It is worth noting that in March 2019, then Premier Rachel Notley’s office spent $215,975.03, while in May 2019, Premier Kenney’s office only spent $9,959.56.
“If the NDP want to compare numbers, they should examine their fiscal habits and the financial state that they left our province in,” he said.
The office of Agriculture and Forestry Minister Devin Dreeshen, Sylvan Lake-Innisfail MLA, spent $168.28, which was the lowest among minister costs in May.
The office of Environment and Parks Minister Jason Nixon, Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre MLA, spent $1,858.76 in May.
To see office-by-office expenses for May, visit www.alberta.ca/premier-cabinet.aspx.