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Redford facing more accusations of extravagant travel

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch

EDMONTON – Alberta Premier Alison Redford is facing more accusations of extravagant travel on the taxpayers’ dime.

Redford’s office confirms the premier, her daughter and two bodyguards used a government plane to fly back from a holiday in Palm Springs to attend a memorial service for former premier Ralph Klein.

The total cost of the trip was $9,200.

Redford’s office says they looked into much cheaper commercial flights, but avoided them after wind shear created havoc for air travellers three days earlier.

The Wildrose Opposition says the premier should have flown commercial for one-tenth of the cost.

“Although we fully support her decision to return to Calgary to attend the funeral of the late Premier Ralph Klein, we have some concerns on how it was handled and the final cost of $9,200,” said Wildrose Finance Critic Rob Anderson.

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“Ms. Redford knew about the funeral for roughly a week before it was held. Why then did she not book an inexpensive commercial flight to return from Palm Springs at roughly a tenth of the cost of flying in the government plane?”

(Watch: Premier Redford speaks to Global News’ Tom Vernon about travel and expenses)

The news comes one day after Redford said she believes the public wants to move on from questions surrounding her expenses.

Redford has apologized for the $45,000 spent to send her and her executive assistant to South Africa in December for Nelson Mandela’s funeral. 

That was followed by revelations that her executive assistant has billed the province more than $9,000 to stay at one of Edmonton’s ritziest hotels since he assumed the job last spring.

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Redford said she’d rather focus on talking about opening new business markets for the province and growing the economy.

With files from Global News