Invoices recently obtained from catering and ground handling providers in Ottawa, the UK and the Middle East reveal that the excursion actually cost taxpayers $99,362.

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Gourmet meals served on china, orders of beef wellington and carpaccio for $50 and $230 of flower arrangements obtained from an Ottawa florist.

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Department of National Defense receipts obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and the National Post show the full cost of Governor General Mary Simon’s expensive week-long trip to the Middle East earlier this year.

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First reported by the National Post in June, responses to an order paper question indicated that the cost of airfare and meals for the vice-regal and her 29 passengers aboard a Canadian Forces CC-150 Polaris at the Expo 2020 in Dubai between March 16 and March 24 cost $93,117.89.

A few days after this story was published, the Department of National Defense issued a statement to the media claiming that the restoration bill was actually closer to $80,000 – a figure that the RCAF Lt. General. Eric Kenney admitted Thursday was not a definitive number.

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Invoices recently obtained from catering and ground handling providers in Ottawa, the UK and the Middle East reveal that the excursion actually cost taxpayers $99,362, including costs that the chef of Canadian protocol Stewart Wheeler – who was among 30 passengers on the trip – called it “problematic”. ”

Part of the problem, Wheeler testified at Thursday’s hearing government operations and estimates committee, offered passengers a choice of meals – backed up by receipts showing that the meals ordered exceeded the number of passengers.

Instructions to a flight catering company from an RCAF flight steward, including special instructions for plated breakfast options for Governor General Mary Simon and her husband Whit Fraser on their trip a week at Expo 2020 in Dubai earlier this year.
Instructions to a flight catering company from an RCAF flight steward, including special instructions for plated breakfast options for Governor General Mary Simon and her husband Whit Fraser on their trip a week at Expo 2020 in Dubai earlier this year. screenshot

Invoices from GateGourmet at the Ottawa airport show the CAF paid $7,657.06 to store the plane for the first leg of the trip, operating as flight CFC3147 to London Stansfield Airport to pick up the Governor General, who was already in the UK.

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This bill included $230 in flower arrangements, $984 in Flow canned water, $165 in lemon and lime slices, and $128 for an unknown number of cases of Perrier water.

In most cases, quantities and unit prices on invoices have been redacted by DND.

For lunch, the 24 passengers on the flight had a choice of chicken tikka masala or apple-stuffed pork tenderloin with roasted squash and sautéed Brussels sprouts, plus salad and dessert.

As the Vice-Regal and seven other people boarded the plane in London, AEG Aviation Services billed the ARC $41,408.39 to maintain the plane, including £392 (579.40 $ CA) for the hiring of an explosive detection dog.

Quantities and unit prices have been redacted for all but one item – £75 ($110) for four liters of apple juice.

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The bill also showed £150 ($221.67) for an unknown quantity of orange juice and £62 ($91.59) for cranberry juice.

For the seven-hour flight to Dubai, passengers could choose omelettes or pancakes for breakfast, and for lunch they ate either chicken cutlets in a creamy mushroom white wine reduction or Wellington beef.

The Governor General’s (referred to in correspondence as “VVIP” (Very Very Important Person)) meal instructions called for her food to be served on china plates, “with appropriate garnish”.

A redacted invoice for ground handling charges for a leg of the Governor General's week-long trip to the Middle East at Expo 2020 in Dubai earlier this year.  Unit costs and quantities were redacted prior to publication.
A redacted invoice for ground handling charges for a leg of the Governor General’s week-long trip to the Middle East at Expo 2020 in Dubai earlier this year. Unit costs and quantities were redacted prior to publication. Screenshot

To prepare for their departure from Dubai on March 20, Monaco-based flight service company Luxavia charged C$16,276.75. to restock the plane, with meal options including beef carpaccio, linguine and roasted vegetables.

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The ‘special requests’ list was €188 ($247) for the arugula and wild rice salad, plus a €250 ($329.22) ‘concierge fee’ for a shopping spree for ingredients .

Also charged are €400 ($526.76) for a redacted amount of lemons and limes, €420 ($552.99) for an unknown amount of ice, and €2,097 ($2,761) for packaging”.

Breakfast during the 30-minute flight from Dubai to Doha to meet the Emir of Qatar was a light affair for passengers, consisting of ‘to-go bags’ of yoghurt or bagels with smoked salmon.

For Simon and her husband Whit Fraser, breakfast consisted of a choice of porcelain masala omelet with chicken sausages and fried potatoes, or scrambled eggs with turkey sausages and hash browns.

During their March 23 stopover in Kuwait to visit Ali Al Salem Air Base, the plane was resupplied again at a cost of $9,668.17.

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Passengers could choose between grilled salmon in lemon butter or ratatouille in tomato sauce for the flight to London Heathrow, the last stop before home.

The plane was paid for an additional $12,000 of services in London by Royalblue catering.

Menu details were not included in the documents, but provisions included £3,190 ($4,715.59) of meals, £608 ($898.77) of crew snacks, £1,634 ($2 $415) for passenger snacks and £90 ($133.04) for two kilograms. of wet ice.

Franco Terrazzano, federal director of the CTF, was intrigued by the different figures offered as the total cost of the trip.

“It’s bad enough that the Governor General has racked up nearly six figures on airplane food, but it’s worse because the government can’t figure out exactly how much money has been spent.” he declared.

“Taxpayers deserve proactive transparency on all Governor General spending.

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