Former premier Campbell top spender 0
Former BC Premier Gordon Campbell answers questions at a press conference at his office in Vancouver Nov 4, 2010. (24 HOURS FILE PHOTO)
Former Premier Gordon Campbell is on the verge of becoming the highest spending high commissioner or ambassador during a year in Canadian diplomatic history.
Campbell, now the High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, racked up $33,975.26 on dinners and lunches from January to the end of May of this year.
Foreign Affairs originally published numbers on Monday stating had Campbell spending $67,026 in the first five months of the year.
The figures, however, were suddenly revised and cut in half.
A spokesman for the department said a reception costing more than $30,000 was taken out of Campbell's individual expense claims Tuesday because the event in question was not a personal expense.
"Premier Campbell's reputation is one of he wants to project a statesman-like impression on the world, that's not going to be cheap," said Jordan Bateman of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. "Clearly with the number of receptions held at Canada house in England we are on the hook for the tab."
According to the CTF the numbers are expected to get even higher. Campbell has scheduled multiple functions over the next few months as the Olympics head to London.
"It should be a great concern to taxpayers how much this Olympic year will cost us," added Bateman.
Canada's ambassador in Japan, Jonathan Fried, spent the second most in the first five months of the year, claiming $23,408 in expenses.
Highest expense: $33,437, "reception: support to visiting delegations/dignitaries"
Tuxedo Rentals: $601.00
Jonathan Fried, Ambassador to Tokyo: $23,408
Peter Boehm, Ambassador to Germany: $23,196
Gary Doer, Ambassador to United States: $2,682