A response to Conservative MP Mark Warawa’s order paper question revealed not only what the Liberals spent to go to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poland last December, but also, who they accredited as official Canadian delegates.
"With regard to the Canadian delegation to the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) in Katowice, Poland: (a) what is the total number of members of the delegation, including any accompanying staff, broken down by organization; (b) what is the title of each member of the delegation, broken down by organization; (c) what is the total allocated budget for the delegation; and (d) what is projected or estimated travel and hospitality expenses for the delegation, broken down by type of expense?"
The trip was enormously expensive, according to the response from Environment and Climate Change Canada:
"The total allocated budget( estimate) for Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) was $805,664. This amount is an estimate and does not reflect the actual cost savings accrued through a number of measures taken to reduce costs such as early booking of airline travel.
Allocations from other departments and agencies have not been provided to ECCC. ECCC's estimated travel expenses were $653,447 and ECCC’s estimated hospitality expenses are $56,807”
Who the Liberals took with them to Poland to represent the country, was equally shocking.
The official Canadian delegation totalled 140 people. Of those, sixty-four were directly from the federal government and, according to an article on Carbon Briefing’s website, the delegation did not achieve gender parity. For shame. It’s the present year, people!
Quebec brought thirty-one delegates - the largest of any province. Ontario and Saskatchewan sent just one government delegate each.
The Liberals officially accredited six labour unions to join the official delegation, but only four private-sector groups, of which only one (Suncor) is an oil company.
They also accredited six representatives from the opposition parties. Green Party leader Elizabeth May brought her personal assistant, so did the Bloc representative. The solitary Conservative MP and lone NDP MP travelled unassisted.
The Liberals also accredited five Environmental NGOs to bring seven delegates. At least three of the five are explicitly linked to the anti-oil, anti-Alberta, Tides Foundation Canada - Equiterre, the Sisu Institute, and The Climate Action Network (through their member group, 350.org).
In the response to Warawa, ECCC made it clear that not all the non-governmental delegates got to Poland on the backs of the taxpayers, saying “Note that the Government of Canada does not provide financial support for the majority of these delegates. Canada grants accreditation to a large number of delegates to ensure Canadian participants have access to the conference venue and its events, which allows Canada to have a strong and diverse presence.”
“Strong and diverse,” except when it comes to opinions on climate change and carbon taxes.