Trudeau haggles over flight cost to Chicago for mom's play

If only Justin Trudeau and his team were as careful with our money as they are with his.

The fact that he used a government jet to fly to Chicago to see his mother’s play will annoy some people; the fact that the Canadian taxpayer wasnickeled and dimed over the cost of that trip should outrage everyone.

Just released documents on the use of government jets by the Governor General Julie Payette and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau show that in May 2019, the GG took two flights on government jets costing taxpayers $42,821 while the PM took nine flights costing taxpayers $242,955.

Trudeau’s flights included personal or party trips to Chicago and Muskoka as well as some questionable usage for a government that prides itself on their environmental bona fides.

The trip to Chicago to see Margaret Trudeau’s one-woman play at Second City was well documented at the time.A National Post story at the time detailed not only the play but that the PM had dropped in to watch the show over Mother’s Day weekend.

That’s not an issue for me, nor is the fact that Trudeau used the government jet for personal use. We long ago decided as a country that PMs could not fly commercial. Sure,the Liberals suggested that commercial travel for the prime minister was OKduring the Harper years but the record shows they were never serious about that idea.

My problem with Trudeau’s flight usage is how his staff decided they didn’t want to pay the full price.The practice is that for personal or party use, the taxpayer is reimbursed for the cost of a comparable commercial flight. 

For his Chicago flights, the Department of National Defence emailed Trudeau’s office with the cost of comparable flights. For the flight from Edmonton to Chicago, the cost for a one-way flight was listed as$269.11 while the cost of the Chicago to Ottawa flight was list as $404.35.

Note that the department only charges the “lowest possible commercial flight costs.” That was still too much for Trudeau to pay back.

“Can we please check Chicago Midway MDW as well for the Chicago-Ottawa leg?” an unidentified staffer in Trudeau’s office asked.

The request was granted and it turns out, the cost of a flight from Chicago Midway airport was only $370.50. So, Trudeau saved $33.85 on his private jet trip from Chicago to Ottawa by pretending he was flying from Midway airport instead of O’Hare.

He’s already paying the lowest possible fare, not the average and he has staff haggling over the price?That’s outrageous!

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The actual cost of the flight was $8,455.51. That’s based on the estimated cost per hour of flying time of $5,637 provided by DND. Maybe we should be asking for that amount back.

And not just for the flight to and from Chicago, but some of the questionable flights this environmentally-woke government is taking on your dime.

The PM flew to Hamilton, twice in a week for visits of about 2 ½ hours. In between, he flew to Paris, France, for a day to give a speech. He had the government jet drop him in Vancouver after a trip to Kamloops and then fly back over the Rockies empty to pick up a pair of cabinet ministers and a staffer.

Apparently, they couldn’t fly commercial.

There is a good argument for government jets being used ranging from security, the ease of flying big groups to a location quickly and allowing highly-paid officials to keep working on the go — something they couldn’t do on a commercialflight.

The use of those jets, though, still requires the use of common sense, which seems to be missing from this government.

As for Trudeau, he should stop being a cheapskate, pay for the personal flights and stop with the haggling.

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