EDMONTON — The Alberta government is coming under fire for spending $13,000 on four 80-inch televisions.
The province says the new screens are needed because ministers hold a lot of video conferences.
Premier Jim Prentice says the government currently has older, 65-inch television screens but they no longer work.
He says they kept having to reschedule meetings as a result.
Wildrose MLA Shayne Saskiw calls it “end of March madness” and a “wasteful expense.”
He says it demonstrates the government’s aura of entitlement to think this would be acceptable to Albertans so soon after the announcement that taxes are being raised.
Prentice insists the $13,000 purchase will save the government money in the long run.
“We sold the government airplanes and we don’t fly people around, we’re trying to avoid even driving to move all the ministers in cabinet from Edmonton to Calgary or vice versa for a meeting,” said Prentice.
“The cost of these video screens will be paid for in basically the money that’s saved on a couple of cabinet meetings because we’re trying to fly people around a lot less.”
Two of the new screens will be installed inside meeting rooms in the Federal Building; the others will go into the cabinet rooms in the legislature and the McDougall Centre in Calgary.