The governing Conservative Party of Canada is in trouble Monday as the Canadian Press reported that taxpayers covered the expenses of the nation’s top CEOs when they travelled with Prime Minister Stephen Harper during last year’s trip to China.
According to the Foreign Affairs Department, expenses include accommodation, meals, local transportation and “miscellaneous items.” It cost taxpayers $1,200 per person (30 executives from several industries and 24 members of the Chinese-Canadian cultural community).
In total, Ottawa doled out nearly $70,000 for non-governmental individuals.
Isabelle Rondeau, director of communications at Bombardier, commented on CEO Pierre Beaudoin’s participation. Rondeau noted that German Chancellor Angela Merkel travels with members of the business community all the time.
“We’ll leave it to the government to confirm those expenses. We won’t comment any further on that,” the communications director said. “It’s important that we have a very aggressive or very dynamic economic diplomacy. Why? Everybody does it. Many countries support their own business community, they organize these types of missions.”