January 15th, 2021

Alberta’s Kenney working in politically notorious ‘Sky Palace’ due to renos

By The Canadian Press on January 6, 2021.

An outside view of former premier Alison Redford's so-called 'Sky Palace' in Edmonton is shown on Jan. 26, 2016. Premier Jason Kenney's office confirms he is working out of the penthouse, calling it the best and safest solution due to legislature renovations. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Amber Bracken

EDMONTON – Premier Jason Kenney’s office confirms he is working out of a penthouse known infamously as the “Sky Palace,” calling it the best and safest solution due to renovations at the legislature.

Christine Myatt, the premier’s spokeswoman, says the temporary move to the Federal Building was announced in August, existing furniture was used and there were no extraordinary costs.

But NDP Opposition critic Sarah Hoffman calls it a disturbing “doubling down” on entitlement, given that Kenney is now directing from the luxury retreat the fallout of foreign holidays by his United Conservative legislature members during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The scandal over the suite dubbed the “Sky Palace” broke in 2014, as then premier Alison Redford resigned due to travel expenses and trips.

It was discovered that the government was lavishly redecorating the top floor of the government-owned building for Redford, featuring bedrooms, bathrooms, a dining room, lounge, fireplace, powder room, butler’s pantry, walk-in closet and room-by-room temperature controls.

Redford’s short-lived Progressive Conservative political successors and former NDP premier Rachel Notley never used the penthouse as premier, calling it a symbol of entitlement and excess and a politically toxic zone.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 6, 2021

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