The Prime Minister’s office says its public expense filings contain multiple errors that lump multiple staff members onto one bill.
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Shortly after Global News reported on the government expense filings on the Privy Council Office website – filings that include $2,000 for two nights in Toronto and Kitchener-Waterloo and upwards of $1,200 for one night in Toronto and Quebec City – the PMO got in touch to say the figures they reported are incorrect.
At about 5 p.m. Wednesday a PMO spokesperson sent a link to an altered expense filing: $1,196.71 for two nights’ accommodation, down from $1,895.09. The other $700, they said, was for a room used as meeting space.
The $1,235.59 for one night’s accommodation in February during a trip to Toronto and Quebec City is accurate, the PMO says.
We’re still waiting for an explanation regarding former Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s travel expenses that appear under-reported or un-reported in these filings.
The posted expenses indicate a stark contrast between Trudeau and Harper, although at least some of that is due to costs that go unreported in these filings ($0 expensed for Saint Petersburg accommodation, for example).
They also indicate how difficult it is to accurately track ministerial expenses even when they’re ostensibly posted online: Costs categorized differently can make it seem as though much more or much less was spent over a period of time.
Trudeau racked up $5,038.11 in the first two months of 2016; Harper reported $4,823.51 for the entirety of 2015.
Harper’s priciest trip? A $739.54 night in Ottawa for Trudeau’s November swearing in.
Harper’s expense reports are clearly missing much of the costs of his trips: His trip to Saint Petersburg, Russia in September 2013 reports $0 spent on accommodation or food, and $90 in “other” costs. We’ve asked the Conservative Party about this and are awaiting a response.
Harper’s meal costs are not reported. And when his accommodation costs are included, they’re pretty low-budget: $252 for two nights in Windsor; $129.16 for a night in Vancouver. (The average for the Lower Mainland, according to Expedia, is $199.)
Trudeau, on the other hand, spent $1,235.59 on accommodation for a two-day trip to Toronto and Quebec City, and $225.78 on meals during that trip.
It isn’t clear whether these higher costs are for the entire Trudeau-Gregoire family —; Trudeau’s wife and three children have frequently accompanied him on government trips.
The actual travel costs of these jaunts are not reported here: The vast majority of the trips are on government aircraft, the cost of which is not included in the expense reports.
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