Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon made regular use of a government executive jet last year while keeping the trips off his travel expenses, documents show.
He's the second minister this week to have his travel habits exposed using government documents obtained by the NDP through an Access to Information Act request.
It's an embarrassing lapse of transparency for a government in the midst of trumpeting new accountability legislation in the House of Commons.
Transport Canada's aircraft flight log shows at least six trips taken by Cannon in 2006 aboard a sleek Citation C-550 executive jet that do not appear in his ministerial expenses posted on the department's website, as mandated by the federal Treasury Board.
Catherine Loubier, Cannon's communications director, confirmed there is no distinction between "program-related business'' and departmental business.
But she said the minister can't claim for costs incurred by the department. If the Transport Canada flight was the only expense for the minister's trip, he has nothing to declare, said Loubier.
"We have nothing to hide. This is public information.''
Again, the public will not draw such technical distinctions, true as they might be. This is not a club the government can afford to have the opposition beat them with. There is no national interest at risk in disclosing the particulars of these flights. Disclose and keep this from becoming a running sore.