Justin Trudeau’s failed pursuit of a UN Security Council seat cost the Canadian taxpayer nearly $2.5 million.
Canada finished third in the voting in June, eliminated in the first round of balloting with 108 votes, well behind Norway (130 votes) and Ireland (128 votes). Canada needed 128 votes - or two-thirds of the UN assembly - to win the seat.
The full financial details of Trudeau’s attempted charm offensive is not yet known. According to Inquiry of Ministry documents tabled in the House of Commons, the $2.4 million total costs did not include staff time or a complete accounting of all travel costs.
The documents also detail that diplomats and cabinet members “raised Canada’s candidacy with foreign officials at every appropriate opportunity.”
According to Blacklock’s Reporter:
The document detailed exhaustive campaigning by Foreign Affairs Minister Françoise-Philippe Champagne. “Since November 2019 the Minister of Foreign Affairs held well over one hundred bilateral meetings and phone calls with counterparts where Canada’s UN Security Council campaign was consistently one of the topics raised,” wrote staff.
The Prime Minister in weeks prior to the pandemic traveled to Munich, Dakar and Addis Ababa to lobby for votes. “Obviously we would have hoped for a different result,” Trudeau subsequently told reporters. He spoke with some forty world leaders, by official estimate.
Ongoing costs of the unsuccessful campaign were never disclosed prior to the vote. Partial expenses detailed in earlier Inquiries Of Ministry included $310,000 to assign ten employees to “campaign on a full-time basis” at the United Nations in 2017, another $70,000 in hospitality expenses, $31,000 to fly diplomats to UN headquarters in New York, and $20,000 for consultants and contractors.
The current UN security council is composed of 5 permanent members, China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and 10 non-permanent members, including, Vietnam, Belgium, Niger, and Estonia.