Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Flights Of Fancy

If expensing back a pack of gum or holiday dalliances with the chauffeur is all right with the Liberals, then what's the harm in using government planes for private business?

Cable public affairs channel CPAC reports that more than $335,000 has been spent -- since Prime Minister Paul Martin took power -- in gratuitous flights by politicians who could have used commercial airlines instead.

And since 2000, the federal government has racked up $1.6 million in extra costs using the Challenger jets, reports CPAC.

"Liberal ministers have abused their luxury jets dozens of times, spending over $1 million on unnecessary flights," Conservative MP Jason Kenny said, quoting the report during question period on Tuesday.


that it costs about $2,100 per hour to operate a Challenger jet.

But internal documents prepared by Department of National Defence officials, and obtained by CTV News, reveal a much heftier figure.

The $2,100 consists mostly of fuel and maintenance costs.

But the true cost of operating the Challenger, once crew charges, the capital cost of the aircraft, and other charges are factored in, amounts to $11,519 an hour, according to the documents.

Fortunately for the Canadian taxpayer, Paul Martin sets a proper example for his cabinet by only using the planes for official travel and emergencies, such as Liberal Party fundraising dinners:

Party fundraising is an emergency of sorts, I suppose, when your party is deep in debt because of your own government's restriction on corporate donations and the other party is sitting on a pile of cash.

No comments: