The World Forum - July 19th, 2024

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Climate Change Minister's two-day Beijing trip cost $140K, records show


Canada spent $140,000 to send federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault and his entourage to a two-day Chinese government international policy convention in Beijing this past August.

Costs to attend the annual general meeting of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development — an advisory board of the People’s Republic of China on which Guilbeault serves as executive vice chairperson — are detailed in the response to an Oct. 24 order paper question filed by Conservative MP Damien Kurek.

The documents put the cost of flying and lodging Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault and his seven-person delegation for four days on the ground in Beijing at $140,073.60 — although more claims are pending.

Aside from Guilbeault — the highest-ranking non-Chinese member of the advisory board — Canada’s delegation consisted of assistant deputy minister Sandra McCardell, Canada’s “climate change ambassador” Catherine Stewart, Canada’s ambassador to China Jennifer May, Environment staffers Gail Cockburn and Pamela Bowles, along with Guilbeault’s chief of staff Dominic Cormier, chief political Adviser Eddy Perez and operation director Elena Mitchell.

Per-person costs ranged from $10,158.43 to $18,917.78 — with Guilbeault’s tab including $14,825.06 spent in airfare, $1,339.71 in accommodation, and $1,195.20 in meals and incidentals.

Support costs by Global Affairs Canada for the trip were budgeted at $35,812.