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Former Alberta treasurer Doug Horner announces at the Legislature Thursday he is quitting politics as of January 31, in Edmotnon, Thursday, Jan.22, 2015. Horner is the last in the family line of politicians dating back to his grandfather, Ralph Horner, a senator for three decades. Doug Horner has been on the backbench under current Premier Jim Prentice.

Dean Bennett/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Doug Horner had many roles in Alberta politics.

He was also caught up in the Alison Redford plane flap, a low-flying moment that is likely to be his legacy now that he is checking out of politics for a return to private business. Ms. Redford took a public scolding last year and resigned as premier after she used the government's private planes for personal matters. As the man in charge of the planes, Mr. Horner was asked why he did not do anything about Ms. Redford's travel habits. Mr. Horner insisted he was not responsible for the use of the planes, the premier and ministers were.

That prompted former finance minister Lloyd Snelgrove to say: "If the Olympics get dodgeball, we've got a serious contender for gold."

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Derek Fildebrandt, former Alberta director of the Canadian Taxpayers Association, said the flight fiasco was a microcosm of the Tories' unfettered sense of entitlement.

Mr. Fildebrandt and Mr. Horner had an adversarial relationship given their jobs. Mr. Fildebrandt would check and challenge budget claims to the point where the finance minister was less than accommodating. He went so far as to ban Mr. Fildebrandt from the lock-up room where the media are allowed to write stories before the budget is announced.

Later, after filing a freedom of information request, Mr. Fildebrandt found an e-mail written by Mr. Horner and sent to a staff member with instructions to put Mr. Fildebrandt in a room by himself with no coffee, no refreshments, and water and toilet access only.

"I'm sure I'm not invited to his retirement party," Mr. Fildebrandt said.

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