Cornwall ON – Sun Media reports today that some $19.3 million were spent by bureaucrats on meetings leading up to the G8 and G20. Some of it will astound you.
For instance, besides Ottawa, DFAIT had 156 contracts for prep meetings in Victoria, Calgary, Yellowknife and Quebec City.
In Ottawa, they paid $22,000 for flowers and other enhancements at the Royal Ottawa Golf Club. Why? Can’t officials be like the rest of us and work in simple surroundings? Do you have to have the place looking pretty and smelling nice in order to do your work? I don’t think so.
Dinner that night cost another $11,000. This dinner was for the G8 foreign ministers. For goodness sake how many attended to represent eight countries and what did they eat? Wouldn’t you like to see the wine bill for that one?
Yellowknife cost $120,000 to host a meeting for summit support staff. Besides spreading the largess around across the country, why was Yellowknife chosen? This exercise cost $43,000 in air charters. Did anyone stop to think that another location might be more accessible by regular airlines and more cost effective? There was even $9000 for entertainment. Come on folks, this is supposed to be a working session.
The feds paid another $4000 to take visiting officials to the Quebec Winter Carnival and another $8000 to put everyone up at the Chateau Frontenac. How many of you have stayed there? Quebec is a beautiful city and hopefully every Canadian will get a chance to visit it, but this was a “working session” not lets play tourist.
It’s a good thing we are in a period when departmental spending is being tightly controlled. Can you imagine what it would be like if it wasn’t?