The government has revealed, in response to a written question by the Conservatives, that the cost of food and beverages supplied aboard a government Airbus used for the trips amounted to just over $1,300 per person.
Conservative MP Blaine Calkins calls the price tag “outrageous.”
But a spokesman for National Defence, which is responsible for the government’s fleet of air craft, says the total includes the actual cost of catering and delivering multiple meals on each round trip, as well as related costs such as disposable cutlery, napkins, dish washing, airport administrative fees and security charges and local taxes.
Daniel Lebouthillier said the defence department “tries to keep costs to a minimum” when choosing items from a catering company’s menu. But the department’s options are “sometimes quite limited” when dealing with caterers at overseas airports.
The total also includes the cost of feeding and watering journalists who covered the trip, which would have been wholly or partially recovered since media outlets pay hefty fees for a seat on the prime minister’s plane.
CTV News by Joan Bryden
Sept 28th 2016