September 2, 2014 8:23 am

Lukaszuk defends taking daughter on government flights

Watch the video above: Thomas Lukaszuk defends taking his daughter on three government flights

EDMONTON – An allegation against an Alberta politician misusing government aircraft is back in the spotlight.

This time it’s P.C. leadership candidate Thomas Lukazsuk who is defending himself after being accused of taking his daughter on government flights.

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Lukazsuk said he took three last minute government flights within Alberta in which his daughter joined him. All the trips happened on ‘no school’ days when his daughter was in his care, he explained.

The Edmonton MLA added he voluntarily paid back the estimated cost of his daughter’s seat during the three trips after Auditor General Merwan Saher clarified flight rules, “so that no one could question my integrity.”

It was following then-Premier Alison Redford’s misuse of government planes that the auditor general made a number of recommendations, including the provincial government create stricter rules surrounding flights with family.

Read More: Redford’s misuse of travel spending caused by ‘aura of power’: auditor general

Lukaszuk said the three flights happened between 2007 and 2012.

In August, details were leaked that Lukaszuk racked up a $20,000 during a personal overseas trip in 2012.

Read More: Lukaszuk defends $20,000 data roaming charges

Lukaszuk defended the data bill by explaining that he received a call on his government cell phone from a distressed cabinet minister who was in a “potentially violent situation.” He said he stayed on the phone until police arrived.

The P.C. leadership candidate believes by investigating the matter he was following his duties as a senior cabinet minister.

Lukaszuk added the two gigabytes of data that were accumulated during the trip were also because of legal parties holding video conferences and the exchange of documents.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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