May 8, 2014 7:04 pm

Alberta premier apologizes for ‘sky palace’ situation

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

EDMONTON – Two days after documents revealed Alberta taxpayers were billed $173,000 for consulting work on a planned penthouse for Alison Redford that never came to be, Premier Dave Hancock apologized.

Tuesday, documents tabled in the legislature by former Infrastructure Minister Ric McIver showed that design concepts alone cost $150,000.

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The suite, dubbed the ‘sky palace’ by the opposition and media, was to be on the 11th floor of the Federal Building — a historic structure under renovation that will eventually house offices for all members of the legislature along with other government officials.

“There’s never been a ‘sky palace,’” said Hancock during Question Period on Thursday. “There was a contemplation of a hotel option.”

“That was ruled out as a bad idea a long time ago. It hasn’t been built; it won’t be built.”

Speaker of the House Gene Zwozdesky then had to scold MLAs for causing outbursts.

“The fact is, it’s $173,000 that’s been wasted,” said leader of the Wildrose Danielle Smith.

“The ‘sky palace’ has become the ultimate symbol of this current PC era… duplicitous, entitled, secretive, wasteful, and completely out of touch with the priorities of everyday Albertans,” she added.

“He’s apologized for so much already, will he apologize for this?”

Hancock responded, “I will apologize for what’s happened with respect to the Federal Building… the project management could have been done better, absolutely.”

“As we learned along the way, and have done better, we’ve been able to make sure that some changes that are asked for are not made, including the $100,000 change that the Official Opposition wanted for the office being built in the Federal Building for their offices.”

Following that comment, Zwozdesky once again had to call for order.

With files from The Canadian Press

© Shaw Media, 2014

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