Back in the 1980's, the opposition NDP were downright vicious when it came to abuse of government aircraft. A quick search of hansard brings up literally dozens of question period interrogations relating to the aircraft. They even invoke the word "taxpayer" to describe the concerned citizenry. Oh those were the days.
Here's an example from April 13, 1984:
Mr. Lingenfelter: Well, Mr. Minister, on the issue of the exective aircraft (I believe this falls under your purview) and you will know that what has been the option of the government – not the option of government but the tradition of the government in the days of Tommy Douglas and Ross Thatcher and Allan Blakeney was to issue a report on the number of flights taken by various people within the government. And since you have come back to office, I don’t believe that one of these reports as been released.
I wonder if today would be an opportune time to issue that report so that the public would have an idea of the number of aircraft, the type of flights that are being made, and the people using them. I wonder if you could deliver that to us today.
Well, 21 years later and the government still doesn't provide a report on aircraft use. Nowadays they just brush it off as a non-issue.
Today from the LP:
"We've taken some steps and recent figures would show only a very, very modest increase in travel. Some of that is related to fuel costs and so on. We've been taking steps to try and co-ordinate travel internally as best we can. We need to travel -- both elected and unelected need to travel in the service of the province. We have a vast geography in this province as we all know and there are going to be travel costs," he said in a conference call with reporters.
My how things change.