Documents show that taxpayers were billed $61,000 for hotel rooms during a recent trip to New York City by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to attend the celebrity-studded “Global Citizen NOW” anti-poverty summit.
As reported by the National Post, the documents containing the figures were released in response to an order paper question from B.C. Conservative MP Dan Albas.
Fourteen rooms were booked at the luxury Intercontinental New York Barclay hotel for the night of April 25, 39 rooms were booked for the night of April 26 and 27, and 11 were booked for the night of April 28.
Each hotel room cost $562.72 CAD per night.
The government also rented an office for PMO and Privy Council Office staff to use in the hotel, for the cost of $1,137.29 CAD. However, the document notes that the latter is standard procedure during Prime Ministerial trips.
Trudeau flew from Ottawa to New York on an RCAF Challenger private jet on April 26. Eleven other passengers were on board the plane, including Trudeau’s executive assistant James Armbruster, his official photographer Adam Scotti, his official videographer Akshay Grover, former PMO adviser Jeremy Broadhurst and chief-of-staff Katie Telford.
The documents did not provide the cost of the flights.
Reacting to the news, Conservative ethics critic Michael Barrett questioned why Trudeau travelled to New York while Canadians are struggling at home.
“This comes at a time when, because of Trudeau’s inflationary deficits and ever increasing carbon taxes, many Canadians are cancelling their own travel plans, one in five are skipping meals, and millions are accessing food banks every month,” said Barrett.
The Prime Minister’s office directed the National Post to Global Affairs Canada, which noted that hotel rooms were used by delegation members who did not travel onboard the government private jet.
“The Canadian delegation for the Prime Minister’s visit to New York consisted of the Ambassador of Canada to the United States of America, the Ambassador for Women, Peace and Security, staff from the Prime Minister’s Office as well as officials from the Privy Council Office and Global Affairs Canada,” said Global Affairs.
“Not all delegation members traveled with the prime minister.”
The Global Citizen NOW summit, seen as a place of gathering to take “urgent action” to end extreme poverty, was also attended by several other political leaders and celebrities.
French President Emmanuel Macron, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley were also in attendance.
Musicians John Legend, Billie Eilish and actor Hugh Jackman also attended, as well as rock star Lenny Kravitz, Canadian model Sabrina Elba, and actors Jordan Fisher and Katie Holmes.
“Building a future that is fair, equal, and peaceful, with clean air and clean water for everyone, is at the heart of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and reflects the vision of the Global Citizen NOW summit,” said Trudeau in a statement before attending the event.
“In New York City, I look forward to advancing our shared progress and advocating for strong global commitments to support gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls everywhere.”
Global Citizen was founded in 2008. The group says its mission is to “to end extreme poverty worldwide, now.” “Our voices inspire action to defend the planet, defeat poverty, and demand equity.”
Trudeau was previously in hot water after it was revealed that taxpayers were billed $475,000 CAD for hotel rooms at the five-star Corinthia London for Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral. Trudeau stayed in a $6000 per night River Suite during that trip.