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Governor general's Middle East trip cost taxpayers $1.3 million

OTTAWA, ON: The governor general’s week-long trip to the Middle East in March cost taxpayers $1.3 million, according to documents posted on the Government Operations Committee website.

“What value are taxpayers getting for this $1.3-million trip to the Middle East?” asked Franco Terrazzano, Federal Director of the CTF. “Can the governor general prove that spending $1.3 million to go to Expo 2020 in Dubai was a better use of taxpayers’ money than hiring more nurses or helping struggling taxpayers?”

Records posted on the committee website show the governor general’s week-long trip to the Middle East in March cost taxpayers $1.3 million. The table below shows the breakdown of costs by department.

Instead of spending $1.3 million on a week-long trip, taxpayers could have hired 16 nurses for a year or covered the entire personal income tax bill of 78 Canadians making $75,000 this year.

On Sept. 22, government employees repeatedly told the Government Operations Committee that they could not provide the in-flight catering receipts from the governor general’s March trip to Expo 2020 in Dubai.

The committee ordered departments to provide “copies of unredacted invoices associated with the March 2022 trip to the Middle East.” However, the departments still have not posted the detailed receipts of the in-flight catering.

The CTF received detailed receipts of the in-flight catering from the department of National Defense through an access to information request. Please see the attached backgrounder for the details.

“Bureaucrats are still hiding documents from Canadians,” said Terrazzano. “They have the receipts for the fancy airplane food, but they’re refusing to post the flight menus online.

“Politicians and bureaucrats need to show respect for taxpayers’ hard-earned money and that means they need to stop wasting so much and proactively post receipts online.”

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