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Premier Prentice to sell Air Alberta fleet

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  • #16
    Originally posted by moahunter View Post
    Originally posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    West Jet to High Level? Fort Chip? Peace River? and so many more.
    Chartering flights for occaional trips to remote locations isn't going to cost $9.5m per year.
    We will find out after a couple years of operation.

    When you add the cost of the charter(s) and the frequency used by those in functional government positions (not the elected officials) you will be very surprised fast.

    You really think that Syncrude and other corporations use Business aircraft to move staff, consultants, engineers and others around cause its kewl...get real, they have flight departments because it saves them money and makes them more efficient.

    The same reason London Drugs started their air service and many others.

    In my highly biased personal opinion
    Last edited by Thomas Hinderks; 16-09-2014, 04:10 PM.

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    • #17
      When it comes to court appearances in remote areas circuit court is usually once a month or less. It does not always happen when the circuit court is in town that a prisoner has to be flown in from a remote area. What with video conferencing and what not I should imagine a prisoner could plead guilty/not guilty over the internet. When they do get a trial date they will have lots of time to be driven to the courthouse. Usually the lower peons that have government business or training to do are required to make their own way to the facility they are training at. As for elected officials having to spend a night in a hotel. To bad, so sad. When you think of all the people who spend weeks at a time in work camps in Ft.Mc a night in a hotel will sound wonderful to them. I am sure when the government planes were used some people just went along for the ride. Say Dave, I have to go to Grande Prairie for the day, fancy coming along for the ride. Sure, I've got nothing pressing to do, might as well.
      Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

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      • #18
        I moved these posts out of the initial Prentice thread as these were starting to confuse the conversation in that one. Also, this conversation deserves its own thread.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
          Originally posted by Gemini View Post
          Let's face it. Those planes were grossly abused by Redford. She wracked up so many unnecessary flights. In fact, her whole tenor as premier was squandered and those planes used when they should not have been. How many trips did she take just to play the role and pad her resume. Flying to the states, flying to Ottawa, B.C., Jasper etc. etc. She used them as her holiday charters and for party business. Then how many of her ministers abused them for their own purposes. When they realize they have to schlep to the airport and catch regular planes like the rest of us I should imagine their fleet of Escalades will start to look very comfortable. Those planes should fly off into the sunset.
          Agree with your quote Gemini

          So ban the elected officials. Why make the guys and gals doing the job suffer? That is the bulk of the use of the aircraft

          kkozoriz

          Play with this for a bit http://www.nwal.ca/flights/ and then tell me how often this service would work for those that have to do the job.

          Then add the extra overnights, meals and lost wage time and see how it works.

          Then bear in mind multiple staff for things like education meetings, court dates and appearances etc.

          Northwest is a great service and a good company but there are tons of limitations because of the (necessary) low frequency.

          In my highly biased personal opinion
          Perhaps we can save on a bunch of these flights if the alternative is slightly less accessible. Maybe we don't need as many face to faces as we've been led to believe. There's alternatives available now that weren't before (video conferencing on a laptop for example). The idea that we're facing some sort of collapse of government because we no longer provide minister and bureaucrats with private planes at their beck and call is silly. If someone wants to take a charter then they can pay the government the difference between the commercial and charter fare.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by kkozoriz View Post
            Originally posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
            Originally posted by Gemini View Post
            Let's face it. Those planes were grossly abused by Redford. She wracked up so many unnecessary flights. In fact, her whole tenor as premier was squandered and those planes used when they should not have been. How many trips did she take just to play the role and pad her resume. Flying to the states, flying to Ottawa, B.C., Jasper etc. etc. She used them as her holiday charters and for party business. Then how many of her ministers abused them for their own purposes. When they realize they have to schlep to the airport and catch regular planes like the rest of us I should imagine their fleet of Escalades will start to look very comfortable. Those planes should fly off into the sunset.
            Agree with your quote Gemini

            So ban the elected officials. Why make the guys and gals doing the job suffer? That is the bulk of the use of the aircraft

            kkozoriz

            Play with this for a bit http://www.nwal.ca/flights/ and then tell me how often this service would work for those that have to do the job.

            Then add the extra overnights, meals and lost wage time and see how it works.

            Then bear in mind multiple staff for things like education meetings, court dates and appearances etc.

            Northwest is a great service and a good company but there are tons of limitations because of the (necessary) low frequency.

            In my highly biased personal opinion
            Perhaps we can save on a bunch of these flights if the alternative is slightly less accessible. Maybe we don't need as many face to faces as we've been led to believe. There's alternatives available now that weren't before (video conferencing on a laptop for example). The idea that we're facing some sort of collapse of government because we no longer provide minister and bureaucrats with private planes at their beck and call is silly. If someone wants to take a charter then they can pay the government the difference between the commercial and charter fare.
            Decision is apparently made...so time will tell.

            But even in your last comment "ministers", the elected officials, are the driver behind the overall attitude.

            As I said above I would be happy to see elected officials banned from the use of the aircraft, but at the same time just in education I know of many that have used the service to carry out contracts, technical difficulties, face to face negotiations, consulting and many other functions in a fast timely manner that was far more cost efficient that burning dollars on lost time, meals, overnight expenses etc.

            That is from one department, when I consider other departments from the Courts, legal aid, infrastructure design and consulting and more I can clearly see the cost benefit from sending teams on fast day trips as opposed to multi day overnight adventures with the attached expenses.

            Business uses company aircraft as a method of savings and efficiency for staff, consultants and other needs...long term they are proven to save dollars not cost more.

            Which in the end is the overall goal while providing all Albertans access to government services in a timely fashion.

            In my highly biased personal opinion

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            • #21
              for Prentice to sell Air fleet is a huge wake up call for most MLAs or ministers that abusing for using the government planes has to end it.

              I hope many voters satisfied that this Air Fleet has to go and save taxpayers's money
              Edmonton Rocks Rocks Rocks

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              • #22
                Who cares if elected officials have to sit in a vehicle to get from A to B. They have some pretty fancy $60,000 Escalades at their disposal. They come with a driver as well. When they sell their vanity planes they can buy a couple more. As for the members that go home on the weekend after the ledge sitting. I should imagine the working part of their Friday afternoons will now get shorter as they will be wanting to get out sooner if they decide to drive or go commercial flight. Maybe Prentice should send a couple of his newly minted advisors to provinces who do not have their own planes. Find out how they manage to run their provinces by keeping themselves on terra firma.
                Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

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                • #23
                  My mom used to be a director for an area in the government, and she occasionally flew on the government plane down to Calgary for a hearing, or to make a presentation. I asked her, and she said she rarely rode with other politicians, though Stelmach was on a flight once, but the plane was often full. It's people like my mom that were often on the flights to do business, and that's one of the reasons I think it's foolish for the government to sell off these planes. Yes, they were occasionally abused, and those abuses made headlines and were absolutely ridiculous, but I suspect most of the flights were legitimate uses of the planes that saved the taxpayers money in the long-run.

                  Like Tom, I'll wait to see how this pans out in a few years, but I suspect we'll see an increase in the amount the government spends on flights and hotel rooms for government employees.
                  They're going to park their car over there. You're going to park your car over here. Get it?

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                  • #24
                    What's the difference going on a commercial plane as opposed to a government plane. Convenience, ( and a feeling of miss placed grandeur) that's what it is. To get over that hurdle just go on line and look up commercial plane scheduling and then organize your day around it. It's not rocket science. If you are travelling within Alberta either go commercial or rent a vehicle, better yet, take your own vehicle. Why the f*** should the public pamper officials for doing their job. Do the guys working on the pipeline get to stay at the local Hilton and dine on the finest fare. No, they get to stay at whatever motel there is. And these are guys are working 12 hour days, 7 days a week. Ditto for the guys working on rigs and in McMurray. Meanwhile some government dick wad is scared of getting their manicures wrecked. Lawd, you would think we were torturing them by making them mingle with the common folk. We voted them in to be at our service, not the other way round. If you want to be pampered, got to the Spa.
                    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

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                    • #25
                      This is 100% getting the political football off the field. The air service became a lightening rod the moment Klein created it, except at his peak he dynamited hospitals without even being noticed, an airline was nothing. At this post-Redford time, debating its merits is missing the point. Keeping it would have guaranteed electoral failure.
                      Let's make Edmonton better.

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                      • #26
                        Starting to lean towards Tom's point of view...I took a peak at some of the manifests and saw that the fleet was going to a lot of places that definitely do not have scheduled service:

                        -Mildred Lake
                        -Grande Cache
                        -Vulcan
                        -Drayton Valley
                        -Loon River
                        -etc.

                        The vast majority were trips between YEG and YYC though, and they should clamp down on those. And really, why does it seem Treasury Board folks from Edmonton need to have so many face-to-face meetings in Calgary? Ever heard of a conference call?

                        I think they could have gotten rid of the Dash 8 and kept the three King Airs. I've always questioned the need for that Dash 8...

                        Anyway, if the Saher report says it costs $3.9M more to use the government fleet than alternatives, then we're really making a mountain out of a mole hill. Remember that the Ontario government sunk $950M into gas power plants that were never built and the Liberals were re-elected to a majority.

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                        • #27
                          Undecided on this from a practical point view although I think it's wise from a political point of view. Sometimes you need to remove the cookie jar.

                          On the practical side, do any other provinces in Alberta have their own aircraft? If not, why not?

                          "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Paul Turnbull View Post
                            Undecided on this from a practical point view although I think it's wise from a political point of view. Sometimes you need to remove the cookie jar.

                            On the practical side, do any other provinces in Alberta have their own aircraft? If not, why not?
                            Haven't looked in a while and don't have time right now but yes a number do.

                            Off the cuff, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec with a couple in the Maritimes.

                            For those that have never flown in a King Air...even a nice one...there is nothing fancy or "special".

                            Business Aircraft are a tool just like any other and when used properly (as Alberta were most of the time) a very effective tool that saves time and therefore money.

                            Over and over I see in this thread that there is an attitude that there is something "over the top" about using business aircraft. Not the case.

                            In my highly biased personal opinion
                            Last edited by Thomas Hinderks; 17-09-2014, 08:08 AM.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
                              For those that have never flown in qa King Air...even a nice one...there is nothing fancy or "special".
                              Very true...not even enough headroom to stand up.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Paul Turnbull View Post
                                On the practical side, do any other provinces in Alberta have their own aircraft? If not, why not?
                                B.C. does not, which strikes me as odd given that the province is larger than ours, has just as many (if not more) remote communities, and has its capital on an island. It also takes forever to get anywhere on the highways as I'm sure most of you know.

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