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Bill Morneau billed taxpayers $81,105 to fly around the world before resigning

Taxpayers paid for Morneau to stay in a $583-a night hotel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, $4,120 for flight costs and more.

Taxpayers had to foot over $80,000 worth of travel expenses amassed by Canada’s former finance minister Bill Morneau, shortly before he announced his abrupt resignation. 

According to Blacklock’s Reporter, records disclosed by Conservative MP Tom Kmiec include a $583-a night hotel stay in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. 

The report includes all expense claims and receipts above $100 from January 1, 2020. 

In total, Morneau accrued $81,105 in travel expenses since July 1, 2019. Among the other bills enclosed in the release is a $1,166 expense for two nights at the Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh during a G20 finance minister meetup. 

Jetsetting by Morneau around France also cost taxpayers $4,120 for flight costs during a trip to a G7 finance ministers meeting in Chantilly.

On August 17, Morneau resigned from his position as Canada’s finance minister following revelations about his and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s financial and personal ties with WE Charity. 

Morneau has since been replaced by Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland. 

It was revealed that Morneau had accepted $41,366 worth of free travel from WE to Ecuador and Kenya before he signed off on a decision to award the organization oversight on a $900 million federal student service grant. 

While testifying before the House of Commons finance committee, Morneau apologized for his conduct and said that he had reimbursed WE for the expenses. 

During Trudeau’s testimony regarding over half a million in speaking fees collected from WE by members of his family, the prime minister denied any wrongdoing, suggesting that it was the public service who was responsible for the deal. 

“There was never any direction by or attempt to influence from me or my staff that the public service recommend WE Charity,” said Trudeau during his testimony.

However, a document disclosure containing thousands of memorandums and emails on the WE Charity decision shows that the prime minister’s office was involved in directing discussions about WE beforehand. 

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