You are on page 1of 3

Dear Colleagues,

It has been a very difficult few days and I can appreciate the anxiety that the situation
has put upon us, the party and the campaign. I would have wished I did not have to be
the one at the podium with Jonathan on Thurs but that is part of what we accept when
we take the job. The Wild Rose would like nothing better than to continue the action of
a few upon all of us. I was told many years ago by my father that if you are accused of
something and its true, take the punishment, learn from it and move on, but if it's not
true, depend on the truth and the facts and those who accuse need to take
responsibility for their actions. My office, my Staff and the department and I have done
nothing that contravened the policy or administration of the ATS. The WRAP has put
out the five reasons I should resign, allow me to respond.

1. That I am in charge of the fleet.

That is true, the Minister responsible for the fleet is to have them ready and operating in
as efficient way as possible so that the LG, Premier, Ministers, and other AUTHORIZED
users can use them for government business. I am also responsible for the policy and
administration of ATS, this was in Transportation up to the time that Minister Snelgrove
brought it over to TB. The Auditor General recommended that policy be created as to
the use, passengers, reporting, and Authority to use the planes and in March 2010,
(Minister Snelgrove) the current policy was brought in. Sections 7 and 8 clearly note
that the accountability for use, destination, who flys, changes to the manifest etc. all lie
with the requestor of the flight, in this case the office of the Premier. My office role is to
request that they follow the policy as outlined and that it is for government business
and any "invited guests" are approved by the requesting officer. (in this case the office
of the premier). The ATS coordinator then approves the flight to be scheduled. You will
know that anyone wishing to join a flight does not get "approval" from my office but
from the Ministry requesting the flight.

2. That I didnt take responsibility for what happened.

In fact I take full responsibility to fully implement the 6 recommendations made by the
auditor general, you will note in these recommendations he is asking that more power
be given to the Treasury Board, not less. The fact that the policy created in 2010 was
followed but may have been abused by a requesting office is for that office to take
responsibility as per above. That officer has paid a very high political price as we know.

3. That I shifted blame.

Putting the responsibility where I have on the requesting authority,( which I have
reminded cabinet of on several occasions of) is not shifting blame, the responsibility for
abuse of the policy lies with the requestor if there was any abuse as per the 2010 policy.
If you request a plane you are responsible for its use. (Is Budget responsible if you speed
and get a ticket with their rental?)

4. That I didnt know how the planes were being used.

In fact on all requests for the planes the use must be for government business, I depend
on the trust integrity and understanding of the policy that all users have been advised
on. The manifests for all flights are also public knowledge, we have come a long way
from previous Premiers use.

5. That I misled Albertans.

Blatantly false, I look forward to this point in the house, I responded to questions based
on the information that was available at the time and indeed true today, I did not
mislead the house or Albertans, the spin that the WRAP is putting on all of this is
misleading because they know the flight policy as well as I and you do.

Friends it has come to my attention that some of you think I should step down because
of this and some of the other difficult files that I have had the privilege to manage over
the last two years. I will not, the truth is my defense and my contribution to serious files
that affect Albertans, the party and our future I am very proud of. I will not let the fear of
the opposition or media bully me into someone thinking that my reputation and
contribution is tarnished by the actions of a few outside of my control. For Steven Carter
and the like to suggest that this was epidemic thru out our cabinet is to protect
themselves from the scrutiny they deserve, in fact some would say it started with him. I
do not fear the Wild Rose Alliance because I believe Albertans will see thru their tactics
at the right time. I do fear the loss of the respect of colleagues and supporters because
of the misleading spin that is being attempted here. So to those who believe I should
resign over this, the answer is no.

I look forward to continuing to work towards getting Jim elected as our new leader and
Premier, I am continuing to build the base of support in my constituency to that end, I
strongly encourage you to do the same, if I can you can.

With kindest regards