Trudeau’s failed UN security seat campaign cost taxpayers over $8.6 million

The federal government spent $8,664,524 in its failed campaign for a seat on the United Nations (UN) Security Council.

The records, obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, reveal the total salary costs for all bureaucrats assigned to the security seat campaign from 2016 to June 20, 2020. These salaries totalled a whopping $6,218,498, which came in addition to the $2,446,026 worth of operational expenses.

Image from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

The full accounting of operational expenses and travel costs has yet to be released by the federal government. Their previous disclosures liked to the campaign have included $137,273 for Trudeau not to go to Barbados and Canadian-themed treats costing $24,170.

The full list and cost of the Canadian-themed treats is;

  • Eight bottles of ice wine at $37.85 each
  • 200 boxes of Peace by Chocolate boxes at $20 each
  • 200 Peace by Chocolate bars at $4.00 each
  • 194 Roots Canada Gloves at $34.71 each
  • 200 Purdys chocolate bars at $3 each
  • 216 maple chocolates by Laura Secord at $2.35 each
  • 54 vase-sized bottles of maple syrup at $15.65 each
  • 260 units of organic maple syrup at $17.38 each
  • 84 mini units of maple syrup at $2.49 each
  • 500 maple lollipops at $1.59 each
  • 392 boxes of maple cookies at $3.46 each  
  • Four units of maple butter at $3.00 each
  • 11 goose key chains at $14.00 each
  • Eight duck key chains at $14.00 each
  • 320 individual sets of cutlery at $3.25 each
  • 182 candles at $12.00

Some other costs included $31,000 to fly diplomats to UN headquarters in New York and $20,000 for consultants and contractors.

“Wasting millions of dollars for a seat on the UN’s security council would be bad enough, but spending over $8.6 million to finish in third shows that this campaign was a big swing and a miss for taxpayers,” said Franco Terrazzano, Federal Director of the CTF. “The amount the government spent on each vote is more than many Canadians earn each year.”

Canada placed third for the vote with 108 votes, behind Ireland with 128 votes and Norway with 130. So far the campaign has cost taxpayers $80,227 per vote.

Canada, when compared to Norway and Ireland, never had a chance at beating them for the vote. Considering they both have been running for the Security Council bid for over a decade.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s run at the bid in 2010 acquired more votes than Trudeau with 114 votes compared to Trudeau’s 108.

The Canadian Taxpayers federation says they’ve submitted multiple access to information requests to “track down the fine details on what was bought with the campaign money.

“We already know the government spent more than $1,000 on cookies and key chains during the failed campaign,” said Terrazzano. “Taxpayers are eagerly waiting to see what else the government thought would be a good idea to spend our money on in its efforts to impress UN bureaucrats.”

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