MPs demand details of Governor General’s $218 in-flight meal during Middle East trip


Lawmakers yesterday requested details of Gov. Mary Simon’s in-flight catering rates. This came to about $218 per attendee during her trip to the Middle East in March.

“Eight meals were served and the total cost was $80,367. Divide that by 46 and you get $1,744 per person, or $218 per meal, which includes breakfast.” Estimate Committee.

“So for a lot of Canadians, it just seems so out of place,” he said, adding that 19 bottles of wine and 15 cans of beer cost just $113.

Meals were incurred on flights to Dubai during the Governor General’s trip to the Middle East from 17 to 23 March 2022, when Conservative MP Michael Barrett issued an order form regarding the price tag for Simon and her eight-day trip. It was made public after issuing the question. A delegation boarding a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) aircraft.

RCAF Commander, Lieutenant General Eric Kenny Eric Kennytestified before the Commission, saying that the RCAF had “challenges” with global catering on flights because “the options for who can be catered to are very limited”, with some countries competing with others. have much higher food prices than other countries.

“We go to areas where the cost of living is quite high compared to Canada, so prices are much higher than what you see here in Canada,” Kenny said.

Conservative MP Pierre-Paul-Housse has called on the International Affairs Bureau to provide the commission with detailed receipts showing how the money was spent and the menu of the meals served on board. .

“I would like to know if you were dealing with caviar and expensive champagne, or what kind of meal are you talking about. What would Global Affairs choose?” asked Paul Huss.

“We’re in a period of inflation and many Canadians find it difficult to put food on the table, so it’s hard to see this kind of spending,” he added.

expenses

Housefather also questioned Kenny about whether RCAF pre-budgets or prepares the cost of in-flight meals.

“Sometimes we get little notice of our plans for these events,” Kenny replied.

“Sometimes when you’re issuing a contract, the cost comes in and the quote comes in right before the actual execution.”

Housefather also asked what percentage of the $80,367 catering fee was “non-meal related.”

“The reality is, catering companies don’t break it down for us,” replied Kenny. “

Stewart Wheeler, the Foreign Office’s head of the Canadian Protocol, told the committee that the “standard operating procedure” for international flights, like Simon’s in Dubai, is to allow passengers to choose between two meal options. He said there is

“Chicken or fish?” Wheeler gave an example.

Conservative MP Kerry McCauley asked about the quality of food on offer and why it could be so expensive.

“Do you serve filets, small cuts of beef? What exactly are you choosing?” Macquarie asked.

Macquarie also questioned that the costs “could have been approved by dozens of people.” [are] I am working on this. “

“I would like to ask you, how did this happen?”

Lee Harding contributed to this report.

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Peter Wilson is a reporter based in Ontario, Canada.