EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Dave Hancock is dealing with the leak of internal government documents after PC leadership contender Thomas Lukaszuk apologized for sticking taxpayers with a $20,000 data roaming bill.
On Monday, QMI Agency reported on documents received from an anonymous source that show Lukaszuk stuck taxpayers with over $20,000 in international data roaming charges while on a personal trip to Poland and Israel in October 2012.
The anonymous leak of internal documents to media during a heated party leadership race has Premier Hancock "concerned," government spokesperson Derek Cummings said.
"We are in the early stages of examining what options might be available to look into the matter," he said.
Lukaszuk personally paid an estimated $7,000 for the trip, but the wireless bill dated Nov. 21, 2012, shows 2.29 gigabytes of data used by Lukaszuk while abroad was charged to the government at a cost of $20,243.91.
The Edmonton-Castle Downs MLA apologized, calling it an "expensive lesson" as he did not arrange the data plan for his iPad and did not confirm that his office had done so.
Lukaszuk elaborated by saying he was forced to deal with a substantial amount of documents related to a confidential cabinet legal matters while abroad.
Law firm Duncan Craig LLP confirmed in a letter posted by Lukaszuk that they were retained after receiving "numerous and extensive telephone and data communications with the deputy premier to legal matters which affected the government."
Lukaszuk said he can't explain the issue because of a court-ordered publication ban. He suggested the internal government documents were leaked by someone supporting the campaign of his rival, former federal MP Jim Prentice.
"This is not something that I'm proud of. It simply happened in the course of work and I'm sorry for that. The reason it came out right now is something that shouldn't be happening," he said.