$24,170 put towards Canadian treats for UN diplomats

Author: James Wood 2020/06/18

Ottawa hasn’t provided detailed accounting of the money spent in Canada’s failed bid for a temporary seat on the United Nations Security Council, but snippets of information have started coming out.

Since 2018, just over $24,000 has been put towards the purchase of Canadian-themed gifts to hand out to visitors by Canadian diplomats at the UN.

The items purchased include 182 candles, 19 key chains, 194 Roots Canada gloves, and 392 boxes of maple cookies, according to records released after a request by Conservative Member of Parliament John Nater.

“In what universe is spending tens of thousands of dollars on key chains and cookies a wise use of taxpayer money?” said Aaron Wudrick, Federal Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “If this was normal spending, it’s scary to think what the bill will be for the UN Security Council campaign.”

Here’s the full list of items:

  • Eight bottles of ice wine at $37.85 each
  • 200 boxes of Peace by Chocolate boxes at $20 each
  • 200 Peace by Chocolate bars at $4.00 each
  • 194 Roots Canada Gloves at $34.71 each
  • 200 Purdys chocolate bars at $3 each
  • 216 maple chocolates by Laura Secord at $2.35 each
  • 54 vase-sized bottles of maple syrup at $15.65 each
  • 260 units of organic maple syrup at $17.38 each
  • 84 mini units of maple syrup at $2.49 each
  • 500 maple lollipops at $1.59 each
  • 392 boxes of maple cookies at $3.46 each  
  • Four units of maple butter at $3.00 each
  • 11 goose key chains at $14.00 each
  • Eight duck key chains at $14.00 each
  • 320 individual sets of cutlery at $3.25 each
  • 182 candles at $12.00

Despite the efforts by the Trudeau government to get a seat on the council, Canada came in third, behind Ireland and Norway.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has submitted access to information requests to get a more detailed accounting of the campaign spending.

“The Trudeau government needs to realize that wasting money on trinkets was a bad look at the best time of times,” said Wudrick.

“With the new fiscal challenges we’re facing, they are totally unacceptable.”