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Are AB ministers stiffing taxpayers for vehicle usage?

July 25, 2018
Are AB ministers stiffing taxpayers for vehicle usage?

It’s easy to shrug off the cost of the carbon tax if you’re not paying the full bill.

Say, if you’re a provincial cabinet minister and you use your taxpayer-funded government vehicle to drive off to Banff for the weekend or if you use it routinely for your weekend grocery trips.

So is that really going on? Are provincial cabinet ministers not paying for their personal fuel usage – and the carbon tax – when they use government vehicles for personal use?

I filed a Freedom of Information (FOI) request recently with the Alberta government to try to find out.

Unfortunately, finding the answer to that question has been like … question period. I’ve received nothing but non-answers.

Here’s what I asked for:

“Please provide documentation on the cost of government vehicles provided to cabinet ministers in 2017-18, vehicle type (eg. 2017 Toyota Corolla), total fuel costs for each minister, and data on any reimbursements by the ministers for fuel costs or specifically for the carbon tax. A summary table is preferable.”

After receiving a response to my FOI, I noticed the government didn’t disclose details on reimbursements by cabinet ministers for personal fuel use. This resulted in a back and forth three times with the government staff member in which I asked again for that data – the data I asked for in my initial request.

And three times, I received nothing but non-answers. I felt like I was watching question period.

Here's a link to the email exchange – start at the bottom – click here

And here’s a link to the data the government did provide ­– click here

Needless to say, I’m going to be filing a complaint with the Information Commissioner.

I really don’t understand why this question is so difficult for the government to answer … unless of course cabinet ministers aren’t “paying their fair share.”

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