$1M price tag for limos shipped to India for Harper visit
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s limo with Ontario plates is pictured in New Dehli, India on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012. (Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Tuesday, January 29, 2013 2:22PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 29, 2013 5:07PM EST
Two armoured vehicles shipped to India on a Canadian Forces aircraft ahead of Prime Minster Stephen Harper’s November visit cost taxpayers more than $1 million.
NDP MP Peggy Nash asked the federal government for the total cost of shipping the planes overseas after reporters in India spotted Ontario licence plates on two vehicles ferrying Harper during his six-day trip.
At the time, Nash questioned why Harper hadn’t opted to use an armoured vehicle provided by the Indian government. However, a spokesman for the prime minister said the decision to ship the armoured SUV and a Cadillac limousine was made by the RCMP.
The documents show the cost to use the Canadian Forces Globemaster cargo jet was $1,030,092 for 48.5 hours of flying time, plus $31,356 for “personal travel costs” – bringing the grand total to $1,061,448.
The document also states that the RCMP “determined there were no appropriate vehicles available in India,” before opting for the pricey flight.
The NDP party criticized the decision to ship the vehicles, saying the government’s austerity measures should apply to Prime Minister Harper as well.
Interim Liberal leader Bob Rae described the decision as “presidential arrogance.”