September 3, 2014 1:46 pm

Prentice denies leaking Lukaszuk flight details, phone expenses


Watch the video above: Jim Prentice appears on the Global Edmonton Morning News a few days before the PC leadership election

EDMONTON – Jim Prentice denies having a role in leaking information to the media about fellow PC leadership candidate Thomas Lukaszuk racking a $20,000 phone bill during a personal trip and taking his daughter on three government flights.

“I have nothing to do with those. I have no idea,” said Prentice during an interview on the Global Edmonton Morning News.

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

Lukaszuk also defended the $20,000 data bill by explaining he received a call on his government cell phone while he was overseas from a distressed cabinet minister who was in a “potentially violent situation.” He said he stayed on the phone until police arrived.

The Edmonton Sun obtained documents itemizing the roaming charges.

Calgary police are investigating to determine who leaked the information about the cell phone bill.

Lukaszuk has hinted it could have been someone from Prentice’s campaign.

Prentice believes Albertans want to move past the expense scandals and focus on core issues like the economy and health care.

“They want a lot less politics. They want a lot more good government in this province.”

However, Prentice says he will sit down with the auditor general if elected to decide how to best deal with government travel.

Another priority for Prentice if elected is creating a smaller cabinet.

“It’ll be reflecting generational change, and that the people that are in the current cabinet will not necessarily as of right now be in the new cabinet.”

Card-carrying PC members will vote for the party’s next leader on Saturday.

Global News will be broadcasting and live streaming from the Edmonton Expo Centre from 7 to 8 p.m. across the province.

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