What does $75,000 of taxpayer dollars get you these days? Apparently a few recycled Stephen Harper platitudes and a lot of hot air.
You’ll recall Harper and his gang flew out to Vancouver in October for what was billed as “a major announcement” on the environment and turned out to be just recycled pabulum with nothing new. Four minister tagged along for the photo-op, and none of them designed to answer any media questions.
And the cost for this pseudo-campaign trip by Harper and a chunk of his cabinet? According to a Vancouver Sun investigation, some $75,000 of your taxpayer dollars. Plus Challenger Jet expenses of $9,174/hour.
Among the expenses was over $13,000 for audio, lighting and teleprompting services at four public events, including a campaign-style speech by Harper to the Canadian-Chinese community, and $203 to another government department to rent 10 Canadian and 10 BC flags. They couldn’t just borrow them? I mean, they’re the same government!
Harper traveled with an pack of seven staff members, Lawrence Cannon took three, and Rona Ambrose and Gary Lunn managed with one each. A frugal Tony (sold that stock yet?) Clement went stag, or maybe he borrowed one of Harper’s seven staffers to carry his bag.
A trip to Vancouver to repeat pledges cost $75,000, documents show
Peter O'Neil, Vancouver Sun
Published: Friday, December 29, 2006
OTTAWA -- Prime Minister Stephen Harper spent $75,000 on a trip to Vancouver to do nothing but repeat previous pledges, according to internal government documents obtained by The Vancouver Sun.
The money for Harper and his entourage of cabinet ministers and aides was spent on flights, hotels, meals and other travel costs in October for what was billed as a major announcement on the environment, according to the documents.
The Oct. 10 announcement, staged against a brilliant Vancouver skyline with four cabinet ministers in the background, was ridiculed by commentators as being fuzzy and vague because Harper only repeated previous pledges to introduce a Clean Air Act.