Liberal MP Justin Trudeau reacted to the funding cuts to Katimavik announced in the Conservative Budget on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, April 5, 2012.
Credits: Chris Roussakis/QMI Agency
OTTAWA - Justin Trudeau showed a taste for fine food and even finer hotels at taxpayers' expense prior to his time as an MP.
Before being elected a Liberal MP, Trudeau chaired the charitable youth group Katimavik, which was started by his late father's Liberal government. The Harper government recently announced that it would stop funding Katimavik, citing high per-person costs for its youth-exchange program.
Receipts for a Katimavik retreat at the posh 4 Diamond Loews Concorde hotel in Quebec City show that Trudeau billed double the rate of other Katimavik members.
While some representatives of the group charged just $362 for a two-night stay, Trudeau charged $740. That figure even eclipsed the cost of Katimavik president Jean-Guy Bigeau's $469 charge for a three-night stay.
Trudeau expensed a $127 lunch for two that included fine brandies and on another occasion he billed $93 for sushi lunch for two.
Other receipts show a taste for the premium Grey Goose vodka.
In 2005, Trudeau charged the taxpayer-funded group for a $350 steak dinner in Halifax. The documents don't show how many people were present and questions about properly documenting expenses were subsequently raised by an auditor.
The documents also show that during Trudeau's time as chair, Katimavik engaged in selective political activity.
Board minutes from 2003 show that Trudeau and the executive director of the group planned to meet with the three candidates vying to replace Jean Chretien as leader of the Liberal Party.
No mention is made in any of the documents about meeting with any other parties despite the fact that the Canadian Alliance, the Conservative Party and the NDP all held leadership races during that time.