Dining in the sky on taxpayers’ dime
Have you ever wondered what politicians eat when they’re travelling? We were curious to find out (and to find out how much it cost taxpayers) so we filed some Access to Information requests for the food consumed on the Prime Minister’s plane for a few months last year. Here’s what we got back.
So are our politicians chowing down on lobster and filet mignon? Or is it boxed lunches and veggie trays?
The truth it seems is somewhere in between.
Take the Prime Minister’s trip to Washington and Mexico City last October. About 60 people went along in addition to 20 flight crew. You can find the menu on pages 1 & 2.
For the Ottawa to Washington leg, there’s a snack of vegetables and sandwich platters, some cheese and crackers, as well as cocktail shrimp. The bill (pages 15-18) works out to $3,488, or about $43 per person based on 80 people.
Dinner options on the Washington to Mexico City leg were curry thai shrimp with wild rice, or veal scallopini in white wine sauce with risotto, as well as some desserts and platters (details on page 40.)
50 curry thai shrimp meals plus 40 veal meals cost $5,935, or about $66 per person.
Meals served from Mexico City to Ottawa (page 34) were a bit cheaper with a choice of grilled beef with asparagus, or Mexican chicken with salsa costing $2,713, or about $34 per person.
The documents also contain a few potential hints about the food preferences of the PM himself, such as on page 67 where correspondence reveals a request “from the top” for strawberries to be put on the velvet cake.
Finally, taxpayers can take heart at the knowledge that when it comes to stocking up on snacks like chocolate bars, chips and beef jerky, government officials had the good sense to shop at places like Wal-Mart and No-Frills (see page 136.)