We all demand openness from our government officials as to the expenses they incur in the course of their jobs. Helpfully, the CHRC has done that for us.
I’ve found some of Jen’s expenses to be a bit … well, shall we say, questionable.
Let’s take a junket from Jan. 15-17, 2008, to Washington, D.C., “to chair meetings with government stakeholders,” as an example.
(First off: WHAT “government stakeholders?” Who are they? What do they do for Canada?)
Now, let’s look at a breakdown of the actual costs incurred for this $2,377.16 excursion:
Air fare: $1,504.62
Now, I did a bit of research into rates for a round-trip flight from Ottawa to D.C. for a comparable time period, that is, Jan. 15-17, 2010. I randomly chose United Air Lines, though we’d all expect Jen’s staff to strive to find the CHEAPEST flight possible, right? Even though it might entail (gasp) flying Economy, rather than First Class?
(Bear in mind flight rates are going to be about the same, mostly due to the artificial fuel rate the airlines locked into a year ago when gas prices soared):
The result: Air fare: $772.80 — resulting in a possible savings of $731.82 (US).
Now we move on to “Meals and Incidentals” — $175.90. Let’s see: only two days. I lived in DC for many years. DC is pricey, but not THAT pricey. Make a little effort, and you can find good meals at about $25 a pop. And what, pray tell, were those “incidentals?” Eyebrow-waxing?
And then there’s the tantalizing “other” expense of $33.52. Since it’s filed under “other,” we’ll never know whether it was a carton of cigarettes or a bottle of booze. Both of which are essential to proper government action, right?
“Other transportation” and “accommodation” fit in with limousine and hotel costs. But the rest of it is pork, pure and simple.
Take a walk through the “proactive disclosure” wild side.
Party on, Jen.