Auditor finds fake passengers booked on plane so Redford could fly alone: report

CBC News is reporting that Alberta’s auditor general found “false passengers” were booked on some government flights so that then-premier Alison Redford could fly alone.

EDMONTON — CBC News is reporting that Alberta’s auditor general found “false passengers” were booked on some government flights so that then-premier Alison Redford could fly alone.

The network said the auditor found Redford’s staff blocked others from flying by booking seats in advance and then removing passenger names before printing the flight manifest.

Merwan Saher’s findings are in an internal report to the government obtained by CBC News, the network said.

It reported that Saher also concluded that Redford derived a personal benefit by taking her daughter on dozens of government flights and used a government plane for trips where there were commercial options.

Redford resigned as premier on March 23 ahead of a caucus revolt due in large part to her lavish spending.

A call for comment to Redford’s constituency office Tuesday by The Canadian Press was not immediately returned.

The auditor’s report says Redford and her former chief of staff denied any knowledge of the altered passenger lists, CBC News reported.

Redford told the auditor general she did not request the government planes, but the report notes that, in every case, the request came from the premier’s office, the network said.

“We were told by 1/8the premier’s 3/8 office staff and multiple staff from the Department of Treasury Board and Finance that for certain flights the remaining seats available on the plane were blocked to restrict access to premier Redford on the aircraft,” CBC News reported Saher’s report as saying.

“The implications of this practice were that other government employees or elected officials would not have been able to travel on those aircraft.”

It was Redford who, before she resigned, asked the auditor general to review the government’s flight program.

Opposition parties were already calling last spring for the province to scrap its fleet of four turboprop planes. Premier Dave Hancock has said the planes are sometimes the best and only way for government officials to get into remote communities.

Flight records show Redford took her daughter, Sarah, on 50 flights on government aircraft, including for two weekends in Jasper. The records simply list “meetings with government officials.”

Shortly before her resignation, Redford admitted to flying her daughter and her daughter’s friend around on a handful of flights and paid back the equivalent airfares. She also admitted taking a government plane to a family funeral in Vancouver and bringing a plane in to fly her back from a Palm Springs vacation.

She also paid back $45,000 spent on travel to and from South Africa for Nelson Mandela’s funeral in December. Redford and her aide flew to Ottawa, where the premier joined the prime minister’s entourage. Her aide, however, took a commercial flight to South Africa.

He and Redford returned to Alberta on another commercial flight so she could attend the swearing-in of her new cabinet.

CBC News said the auditor’s review found she could have returned on the prime minister’s plane in time for the swearing-in.

Just Posted

People hurt in rollover near Red Deer

Occupants of a vehicle that rolled south of Hwy 11A were airlifted… Continue reading

Eager-beaver cannabis entrepreneurs already waiting outside Red Deer City Hall

Appications will be accepted on a first-come basis starting on Tuesday

Like father like son: Red Deer area Dreeshen family dedicates life to public service

There are three jobs that could be considered the Dreeshen family business:… Continue reading

Restaurant owner concerned about Gasoline Alley road changes

Nearly 20 trucks were lined up on the service road in front… Continue reading

Preliminary hearings set for two men charged in weapons and drugs bust

A Red Deer man and Sylvan Lake man are facing 80 charges

WATCH: Hypnotizing show at Westerner Days

Hynotist and mentalist Joshua Seth performs three times a day at Westerner Days

WWII hero’s lost Purple Heart returned to his family

NEW YORK — A lost Purple Heart medal has been returned to… Continue reading

California girl, 2, accidentally shot and killed by boy, 4

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Authorities say a 4-year-old boy accidentally shot and… Continue reading

A hairy issue: Sailors tell the US Navy, ‘We want beards’

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Now that women in the Navy can wear ponytails,… Continue reading

PHOTOS: River Town Saints rock Red Deer

River Town Saints play Westerner Days Friday in Red Deer

PHOTOS: Dogs, horses and more animals at Westerner Days

Westerner Park’s pavilions were filled with animals during Westerner Days

Red Deer residents can’t get enough mini-doughnuts

Mini-doughnuts were the biggest draw to Westerner Days according to a Red… Continue reading

Four-car crash, including RCMP vehicle, on Highway 2

Two sheriff vehicles were also involved in the collision

Divers hunt for 4 after Missouri duck boat sinks, killing 13

BRANSON, Mo. — Divers are searching Friday for four people still missing… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month