Skip to content

NEWS: Another million spent on G8/G20 summits

Documents outlining the costs of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s travels in 2009-10 were tabled in Parliament yesterday.

They reveal another $1.3 million spent on undemocratic G8 and G20 summits:

  • G20 in London: $247,770.
  • G8 in Aquila, Italy (and visit to Rome): $769,325.
  • G20 in Pittsburgh (and New York): $298,136.

The Council of Canadians argues that these undemocratic summits should be scrapped and that key international discussions should take place at the more inclusive and representative United Nations General Assembly.

When the prime minister travels, Post Media reports that, “A core group from the Prime Minister’s Office and Privy Council Office, as well as more bureaucrats from key departments, particularly Foreign Affairs (accompany him).”

The records also show that $181,291 was spent on his attending a session of the UN General Assembly. That money would have been better spent had the prime minister actually committed to the UN (rather than launching a disastrous – and likely very expensive – bid for a Security Council seat) and had he recognized the right to water and signed the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

$249,752 was spent on Harper’s visit to the Canada-EU summit in Prague to promote that Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

The documents also show that Harper’s trip to the climate summit in Copenhagen cost $400,418. In truth, that might be better filed as another federal subsidy to the tar sands.