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Canada Opposition questions Saskatchewan premier's travel bill, $4,000 charter flight

00:10  31 january  2020
00:10  31 january  2020 Source:   msn.com

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REGINA — The Opposition in Saskatchewan is calling for more disclosure of the premier's travel in light of a jump in expenses and a $4,000 charter flight.

The NDP says public records show Moe's 2018-19 travel costs were about $84,000 compared with $45,000 Brad Wall spent during his last full year as premier in 2016-17.

David Forbes, the NDP's ethics and democracy critic, says an explanation is also needed for why Moe took a $4,000 charter flight from his constituency of Shellbrook to Regina two months ago.

An expense claim and invoice released to The Canadian Press under freedom-of-information legislation details that Moe drove from Shellbrook to Prince Albert on Nov. 11, then took the chartered flight to Regina.

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He then boarded a commercial flight to Ottawa, where he met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Moe's press secretary says the premier had a personal commitment that day, but almost always makes the four-hour drive from Shellbrook to Regina.

Jim Billington says due to scheduling conflicts, charter flights sometimes need to be booked.

This fiscal year, Moe has taken four charter flights, costing about $12,000, he says.

Billington also says Moe's travel expenses came in higher than Wall's because of work to increase the province's global presence through international trade missions.

Forbes says people need to know if they're getting value for their tax dollars. "We also want to make sure that there's transparency and accountability."

He says a charter flight is expensive.

"When it’s an emergency you must do it. But when it’s not, you really have to think about what are the taxpayers of Saskatchewan going to think about this.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 30, 2020

Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press

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