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View Full Version : Alberta PC leader candidate sent $20,000 data bill to taxpayers, documents show



Billythreefeathers
08-25-2014, 01:28 PM
http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/sunnews/politics/archives/2014/08/20140825-074235.html

EDMONTON - Progressive Conservative leadership contender Thomas Lukaszuk stuck taxpayers with over $20,000 in international data roaming charges while on a personal trip to Poland and Israel in 2012, documents show.

The former deputy premier took a week off at the start of the legislative session in Oct. 2012 to travel to Poland and Israel as part of the "Compassion to Action" program which raises awareness about hatred, tolerance and human rights.

Lukaszuk said he was invited by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre to join an Auschwitz survivor in Poland on Oct. 19, then left for a visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust History Museum in Israel on Oct. 25 before returning to Canada on Oct. 30.

He personally paid an estimated $7,000 to go, but because of his position in cabinet, Lukaszuk said he exchanged a large amount of government and legal documents on his iPad while abroad, and used Skype to call into cabinet committee meetings.

A wireless bill dated November 21, 2012, shows 2.19 gigabytes of data used by Lukaszuk on the trip was charged to the government at a cost of $20,243.91.

"When you travel as a minister, you pre-plan as much as you can. When something goes sideways in Alberta, all of a sudden you're inundated with documents. We're talking document packages are being sent to you by data transfers," he explained.

Lukaszuk refused to consider paying it back because it's "the unfortunate cost of doing business."

He signed off on the charges on December 19, 2012, and it was logged under "other expenses" in his office's Feb. 2013 expense report.

"The fact is, it was unavoidable," he said. "Lots of documents were shipped then and that was in official capacity and I continued working."

Lukaszuk says he feels the trip was "pseudo-government related" and, "frankly, if I wanted to, I probably could have legitimately claimed that trip to government because of the number of official visits and why they invited me there, but I didn't because it was something that was driven by my personal interests more so than an obligation."

The wireless charges were sent to the Edmonton Sun anonymously last week.

Lukaszuk said the wireless charges are internal government documents and could only have come from someone inside or supporting the campaign of his rival, former federal MP Jim Prentice.

"This is definite sabotage. That's all that they can find on me. I also know they're trying to revive the furniture story," he said, referencing a furniture upgrade he ordered for his former office that cost taxpayers more than $10,000 in 2013.

A spokesperson for the Prentice campaign said they did not leak the documents and said Lukaszuk "will have to explain his own actions."

A spokesperson for Ric McIver also said their campaign did not leak the documents.

PC members will choose Alberta's next premier on September 6 with a potential run-off vote scheduled for September 20.

Billythreefeathers
08-25-2014, 01:30 PM
These PROGRESSIVES have to go,

Worked for Redford, and works like Redford

Camo tung
08-25-2014, 04:23 PM
These PROGRESSIVES have to go,

Worked for Redford, and works like Redford

Yup. Not really surprising when you poke a skunk and it smells as bad as the last one isn't it?

berger
08-25-2014, 04:36 PM
While you guys are at it, perhaps you should address the robbery that is data plans and roaming charges in this country.

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Camo tung
08-25-2014, 05:25 PM
While you guys are at it, perhaps you should address the robbery that is data plans and roaming charges in this country.

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk

Different discussion, it's my choice to pay it or do without for my personal use. Tommy the hair (hey, sounds like Justin the hair!) don't give a sh*t about ME paying for his poor decisions regarding how much foreign data charges cost.

Mjolnir
08-26-2014, 09:05 AM
For $20,000 the documents in hard copy form could have been delivered to him personally.


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