Canadian official quits over Mandela trip

2014-03-20 09:04
Alberta Premier Alison Redford announces her resignation in Edmonton, Alberta. (Jason Franson, AP)

Alberta Premier Alison Redford announces her resignation in Edmonton, Alberta. (Jason Franson, AP)

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Edmonton - The premier of the western Canadian province of Alberta announced on Wednesday she is resigning after being criticised for spending thousands on a trip to South Africa for Nelson Mandela's memorial service.

Premier Alison Redford has been struggling to deal with unrest in her Progressive Conservative caucus over her leadership style and expenses. She said her resignation will be effective on Sunday.

Redford could not weather weeks of revelations of lavish spending by herself and her government. It began when it surfaced that she had spent $45 000 on first-class air tickets and a government plane to go to Mandela's memorial in South Africa. She once worked with Mandela in the fight against apartheid.

Last week, a member of her government quit, calling Redford a bully, and earlier this week, an associate minister resigned, saying the party has issues with entitlement.

Redford took over party leadership in 2011 and led the party to a victory in the 2012 election.

Alberta's energy rich-economy is booming. The northern Alberta region has the world's third largest oil reserves, with 170 billion barrels of proven reserves.

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