Wining and Dining and Glass Houses
Following days of accusations that Lynn Redford, sister of Alberta Premier Alison Redford, had been involved in illegal donations during her tenure as the Government Relations officer at Calgary Health Region, and subsequent accusations on the part of the CBC that Alberta Health Services has been “wining and dining” on the taxpayer’s dime for quite sometime, the Deputy Premier struck back today during Question Period.
Thomas Lukaszuk first alluded to “something he would tell you about later” during his response to Danielle Smith’s question with regard to what the Premier knew about “wining and dining” expenses as well as illegal donations to political parties on the part of the Premier’s sister. And tell us later he did.
Although it seemed to go largely unnoticed, the Deputy Premier went on to state that Raj Sherman, Leader of the Liberal Party of Alberta, had in fact been part of the Covenant Health habit of submitting receipts for reimbursement that included alcohol. That however, was not the bombshell event of the day.
Lukaszuk then went on to state that the Wildrose Party had illegally solicited campaign funds from Olds College. Danielle Smith did not respond to the remark made by the Deputy Premier, but at the close of Question Period Lukaszuk tabled correspondence sent to Tom Thompson, President of Olds College.
The letter to Thompson is addressed to him and the sender of that letter is Rob Anderson of the Wildrose Party. The letter is clear, as is the response of Mr. Thompson’s office.
As for accusations that Raj Sherman was “wining and dining” on taxpayer funds, although the receipt clearly shows that on October 8, 2012 at approximately 2:00 pm, Mr. Sherman was “dining” on the taxpayer’s dollars at Joey’s Southside in Edmonton, the receipt is not itemized. Another receipt displays both Mr. Sherman’s name and that of James Heelan, Edmonton Lawyer and member of the Board of Directors for Covenant Health.
The total including tip came to $100. Considering Mr. Sherman is a fairly healthy looking gentleman, one is hard pressed to believe he consumed a $100 worth of Joey’s sliders, regardless of how delicious they may be. Without an itemized receipt, however, one can only prove that Mr. Sherman was definitely “dining” on the taxpayer’s dime. Still, one would think that those submitting receipts would be required to provide more detail than a VISA slip.