As Patriots fans lick their wounds after yesterday's SuperBowl, Saskatchewan taxpayers can consider their bill for the Grey Cup. Thanks to a CTF Freedom of Information request, the cost to send Premier Brad Wall and his delegation to Toronto last November is now known.
Deputy Premier Ken Krawetz, Chief of Staff to the Premier Reg Downs and Executive Assistant to the Premier Everett Hindley accompanied the Premier on the trip to Toronto for the Grey Cup. In addition to attending various Grey Cup events as an official representative of the Province of Saskatchewan, the Premier also attended scheduled meetings with Premier Gary Doer of Manitoba and Grand Chief Phil Fonatine.
The total cost of the trip was $12,487.37 and is comprised of the following expenses:
-Taxis $116.70; and,
-Telephone calls $30.35.
Also, on November 27, 2007 a reception was held for the Saskatchewan Roughriders at the Legislative Building. Refreshments for this reception cost $85.50 and phtographer costs were $866.25.
Trips taken in provincial jets to football games are usually quite suspect. However, a significant act of charity documented here mitigates this:
After the Roughriders defeated the B.C. Lions in the West Division final on Nov. 18, Kelly Schermann launched a fundraising campaign in the hope that enough money could be generated to fly [cancer patient Chris] Knox and his loved ones to Toronto for the game. Trevor Lowey of Kelvington quickly joined forces with Schermann to organize the excursion.
More than $100,000 was donated or pledged in a matter of days. As a result, there were sufficient funds to send 10 young Saskatchewan-based cancer victims and 20 chaperones to the Grey Cup, along with Knox.
The province offered this gesture at a time when booking flights to Toronto for such a large group was virtually impossible. However, let it be remembered that it was Saskatchewan people, both privately and through their taxes, that made this possible.
The official response for the Freedom of Information request is here. My response to the Grey Cup win is below!