EN FR

Africa trip drives up failed UN security seat campaign cost to over $10 million

Author: James Wood 2021/07/02

The federal government spent at least $10,371,712 on its failed campaign for a seat on the United Nations Security Council, according to records obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

“The bills for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s failed UN security council campaign keep rolling in, and they keep showing us that this was a huge waste of money,” said Franco Terrazzano, Federal Director for the CTF. “We know the feds flushed more than $10 million down the drain and we’re still digging to get the full costs.”

New records show the $1.7-million travel bill paid by taxpayers during Prime Minister Justin Trudeau journeys to Ethiopia, Senegal, and Germany in February, 2020.

Close to half of the travel bill was $834,840 in operational costs for the CC-150 Polaris jet Trudeau used during the flights on the tour, while the other $872,348 was made up of various travel bills, such as hotel services, chauffeurs and catering.

The highest hotel bill came from the delegation’s stop in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, which rang in at $180,355.

The new bills come on top of previous records disclosed by the CTF that revealed the total salary costs for all bureaucrats assigned to the security seat campaign from 2016 to June 20, 2020.

The salaries totalled $6.2 million, which came on top of $2.4 million in operational expenses released in November, 2020.

Canada had finished third in balloting on June 17, 2020, for the UN Security Council seat. Canada got 108 votes, behind first-place Norway (130 votes) and second-place Ireland (128 votes).

The federal government has not released a full account of the campaign’s travel costs and operational expenses, though previous disclosures have included over $24,000 for Canada-themed treats and close to $140,000 for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau not to go to Barbados.

Other costs included $31,000 to fly diplomats to UN headquarters in New York and $20,000 for consultants and contractors.

The CTF has made multiple access to information requests to determine how all the campaign money was spent.

“Trudeau needs to stop keeping taxpayers in the dark about the full costs of the failed campaign” said Terrazzano. “Bureaucrats need to go through their shoeboxes and show Canadians all of the receipts.”