Taxpayers on the hook for $223K in catering costs for Trudeau's Indo-Pacific trip

Meals featured an array of gourmet dishes including beef brisket with mashed parsley potatoes and truffle oil, pan-fried beef tenderloin with port wine sauce, braised lamb shanks with steamed broccoli and boiled baby potatoes, and baked cheesecake with pistachio brittle.

Taxpayers on the hook for $223K in catering costs for Trudeau's Indo-Pacific trip
The Canadian Press / Sean Kilpatrick
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The Trudeau Liberals spent $223,000 on catering during their six-day Indo-Pacific trip in September.

The trip to Singapore and India cost close to $2 million in total.

The catering costs had previously been marked at $180,000, but a response to an order paper question in the House of Commons found that number was actually $223,000.

The final cost of the trip could still rise as records continue to be processed, reports the National Post.

The number of passengers traveling with Trudeau on a Royal Canadian Air Force CC-150 Polaris varied from 37 to 72 during different stages of the trip. One notable segment of the journey incurred a catering bill of $85,000.

On-board meals featured an array of gourmet dishes including beef brisket with mashed parsley potatoes and truffle oil, pan-fried beef tenderloin with port wine sauce, braised lamb shanks with steamed broccoli and boiled baby potatoes, and baked cheesecake with pistachio brittle.

Canadian Taxpayers Federation federal director Franco Terrazzano told the National Post the trip had parallels to Governor General Mary Simon's March 2022 trip to Dubai that ran a bill of $100,000 just for in-flight catering.

“It might be tough to connect with the middle class while chowing down on lamb shanks served on fine China and billing taxpayers for it,” said Terrazzano. “You shouldn’t need a focus group to recommend telling the prime minister to turn down the baked cheesecake with pistachio brittle when Canadians are lining up around the block at the foodbank.”

A special request was made to stock the plane with Flow Water, a premium alkaline spring water brand. According to the CTF, this product is a favorite of Trudeau's and has appeared in his personal grocery expenses.

Following the outrage over Simon’s bill in 2022, a parliamentary committee questioned bureaucrats about the substantial expenses.

“We recognize that the system that we had in place was not delivering the kind of oversight and control that Canadian taxpayers deserve,” said Stewart Wheeler, who was then Canada’s chief of protocol. “Certainly, drink garnishes will be eliminated from service.”

“Is the government running a secret contest to see who can order up the most expensive meals while flying around the world?” Terrazzano said. “Someone should let the prime minister know the government promised to cut down on fancy airplane food, because Trudeau doubled Simon’s outrageous tab.”

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