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MLA Everett McDonald standing his ground on government flight

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Despite Premier Dave Hancock’s apology yesterday, Grande Prairie-Smoky MLA Everett McDonald isn’t budging.

He maintains his October 25, 2012 flight to Grande Prairie on a government plane was for business purposes, as he helped announce another $100 million for the new Grande Prairie Hospital.

“I think it was very important that I was here and I stand by that. Whether some of my colleagues unfortunately took the government plane back to Calgary, I didn’t; I stayed here and stayed in my constituency because I had other things on for the following weekend.”

In his report, Alberta’s Auditor General concluded the flight was not for government business, as it brought former premier Alison Redford to a PC Party fundraiser, and the Wildrose Party has called for an apology.

However, McDonald doesn’t feel one is warranted.

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“I haven’t had one of my constituents ask for an apology. Every one of them that I’ve talked to has said, ‘you’ve got a lot of work to do, we understand that.’ [$100 million] is big news. As an MLA you want to be in your constituency when they’re making that announcement, and I was.”

McDonald adds it may be an issue of bad timing, with the party on the same day, and a delay in the announcement after MLA Wayne Drysdale flew to St. Paul to support families after a minivan crashed into a school, killing an 11 year old girl.

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