Posted on Jun 11, 2020
WHILE KENNEY RAISES TAXES, HIS TOP AIDE RACKS UP TENS OF THOUSANDS MORE IN TRAVEL, MEALS, AND LUXURY HOTEL STAYS AT TAXPAYERS’ EXPENSE
EDMONTON - David Knight-Legg, principal adviser to Premier Jason Kenney, has billed Alberta taxpayers for even more luxury travel expenses in the past six months.
Knight-Legg made news in November for billing $45,000 worth of flights, meals, and stays in five-star luxury London hotels between April and September of 2019. But in the following six months, according to recently released government expenses, Knight-Legg milked Alberta taxpayers for another $58,856 in upscale travel. This is in addition to his $195,000 annual salary.
These bills include four nights in March at Le Meridien New York Central Park, described in its marketing as “showcasing custom furnishings, pristine marble bathrooms and opulent bedding, our guest rooms and suites are immersive escapes high above Manhattan.”
Knight-Legg also stayed six nights in February at the Sofitel Washington DC Lafayette Square, a boutique hotel, which promises “a one-of-a-kind, luxurious hotel experience” and invites guests to “release your inner bon vivant.”
Kenney’s senior staffer also returned to London, staying three nights at the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane, in the upscale Mayfair district. The 100-year-old hotel boasts “uncompromising indulgence with luxury amenities and exclusive access to the Club Lounge.”
“While Jason Kenney’s top aide is relaxing on a marble throne and stretching out on opulent bedding in New York, Alberta families are losing sleep over paying more income tax, more property tax and more school fees. It’s obscene that David Knight-Legg is living a life of luxury at those same families’ expense,” said Shannon Phillips, NDP Opposition Critic for Finance. “What’s more, Jason Kenney is exploiting a loophole so they can take pandemic relief money for their political party. And they’re doing this while tens of thousands of Albertans can’t get the support they need during COVID-19.
“They’re spending public dollars on marble bathrooms while increasing income taxes, property taxes and fees on Alberta families. Clearly, the ‘fiscal reckoning’ warned of by the Premier doesn’t apply to his friends,” said Phillips. “It’s time for Kenney to apply the same standards to his staff and make David Knight-Legg pay back a portion of his exorbitant luxury travel bills.”