CALGARY - Alberta Premier Alison Redford says she believes the public wants to move on from questions surrounding her expenses.
Redford has apologized for the $45,000 spent to send her and her executive assistant to South Africa in December for Nelson Mandela's funeral.
That was followed by revelations that her executive assistant has billed the province more than $9,000 to stay at one of Edmonton's ritziest hotels since he assumed the job last spring.
"I've offered my apology to Albertans. I wouldn't say that Albertans haven't raised the issue with me, but from my sense, people have accepted the fact that we do have to move on," Redford said at a media availability Thursday.
"We have to keep opening new markets. We have to keep making the decisions that will allow the economy to grow and we'll move on from there."
Redford has said if she had known how much the South African trip would cost, she wouldn't have gone.
She also has said that while her staff didn't follow travel protocol, she takes responsibility for what happened. But she has refused to pay back any of the money, saying she was on government business at the request of the prime minister.
On the other matter, travel receipts posted online indicate that Brad Stables has billed the province more than $9,000 to stay 42 nights at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald since last spring.
Most nights, it cost $201.06 to put him up in the provincial capital, although the bill for Oct. 29 was $399 without explanation.
"We do our best to make sure we are ensuring there is always value for taxpayer dollars," Redford said Thursday. "As we move forward, we have to accept the fact that there will be costs associated with managing a government, with working in a government and doing the work that Albertans asked us to do."
The premier said she has no doubt that the opposition parties will continue to raise her government's spending when the legislative session resumes next week. But she suggested the government has made a concerted effort to let the public know what is going on.
"We've come forward. We've talked about this. We've been quite frank. We'll continue to be open with respect to how government works and how money is spent," she said.
"We have systems in place through the auditor general who can take a look at any expenditure at any time."
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