When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the costs of his state visit to Washington, D.C. would come in at just over $25,000, I must admit I was a bit impressed.
Government can spend that amount easily on coffee and scones, so an international trip with 44 people at that price would have been an exercise in fiscal restraint.
As it turns out, I was right to be skeptical.
The actual cost of the trip, according to the Privy Council Office's report to an NDP member of parliament, was $257,219.42.
That's not a rounding error: that is more than 10 times what Trudeau promised--even as Canadians left and right doubted the original price tag.
The chartered Defense Department plane that transported most of the state visit's attendees cost $46,620 for the 4.2 hour flight. Trudeau's estimate barely would have covered half of the flight, which has a fixed rate of $11,100 an hour.
Did Trudeau not know how far away Washington was, or did he just hope that no one would notice?
I think it was the latter, but I did. And I hope you will pay attention as well.