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A look at recent troubles that prompted Alberta Premier Alison Redford to resign

March 19, 2014 - 5:50 PM

EDMONTON - Here's a look at some of the troubles that led to Alberta Premier Alison Redford's resignation:

Dec. 10: Redford and an aide attend the memorial for former South African president Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg. She travels with Prime Minister Stephen Harper's delegation, but it is later revealed she spent $45,000 to get to Ottawa on a government plane and to get home early on a comcercial flight to swear in her new cabinet. Nova Scotia's premier made the trip for under $1,000. ___

Feb. 6: Confusion and finger-pointing over the Mandela trip costs continue as her office suggests bureaucrats kept her staff in the dark about cheaper flight options. Redford eventually apologizes but refuses to pay the money back. ___

Feb. 19: Government records say Redford's executive assistant is billing Alberta taxpayers more than $200 a night to stay at one of Edmonton's ritziest hotels. Travel receipts posted online indicate Brad Stables has billed the province more than $9,000 to stay 42 nights at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald since he assumed the job last spring. ___

Feb. 28: Redford faces renewed accusations of extravagant travel over a government flight home from a Palm Springs vacation to attend former premier Ralph Klein's funeral. The cost of flying the government plane down empty and returning with Redford, her daughter and two bodyguards was $9,200. ___

March 4: Redford reveals that in the last year and a half she has flown her daughter Sarah and the girl's friends around on a government aircraft. She says she now recognizes those trips were offside and has repaid the equivalent airfare, about $3,100. She has also put a stop to all out-of-province trips on government aircraft until she hears from the auditor general. ___

March 5: Redford says she knew she broke the rules by flying her daughter around on government planes at taxpayers' expense, but says those policies need to be reviewed to better accommodate her family. ___

March 7: Redford's office says it will use $300,000 of a $1.2-million boost in its annual budget to hire more letter writers. Spokeswoman Neala Barton says the premier needs to respond better to the high volume of correspondence from Albertans. ___

March 11: Redford faces accusations she used a government plane for a party fundraiser in Grande Prairie. ___

March 12: Redford tries to stem the caucus revolt by agreeing to pay back the $45,000 spent to fly to South Africa. ___

March 13: Calgary backbencher Len Webber says he's quitting caucus to sit as an Independent. He says Redford is disrespectful and has issues with uncontrolled anger. "She's just really not a nice lady." Webber had already announced his intention to seek the Conservative nomination in the new federal riding of Calgary Confederation. Redford's comment: "No reaction." Alberta's deputy premier, Dave Hancock, says Webber is "a sad man." Redford was to have flown to Regina for a conference with Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall and British Columbia's Christy Clark. Reporters learn through Wall's office that Redford will not be going, but that the three premiers will talk by phone. ___

March 15: Redford meets with the PC party executive behind closed doors. She is taken to task and given an unspecified "work plan" to follow. ___

March 17: An associate minister in Redford's cabinet resigns her post and leaves the Tory caucus. Donna Kennedy-Glans, the member for Calgary Varsity, cites the inability to create change from within the party and a culture of entitlement as reasons for her departure. She does not criticize Redford by name. "This is not just about leadership,'' she says. "This is about how our party functions and whether change from within is possible." ___

March 18: Redford's house leader says two rookie backbench MLAs who openly challenged her would be left alone for now. "Those two members will make their decisions (on whether to quit Redford's caucus) in a timely fashion, and I'll respect those decisions," says Robin Campbell. ___

March 19, 2014: Redford calls a news conference in the legislature rotunda to announce she is resigning, saying she doesn't want party politics to get in the way of building the province. ___

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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