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New government records reveal that Canada’s ambassador for climate change has racked up a bill of $254,000 in travel expenses in less than two years of being appointed.

Access to information records obtained by Blacklock’s Reporter found that Catherine Stewart billed taxpayers for stays in luxury hotels which cost as much as $623 a night.

Stewart was appointed climate ambassador by Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault in August 2022, after serving as assistant deputy environment minister. 

According to Guilbeault, Stewart did “exemplary work” as assistant deputy assistant.

Blacklock’s reported that Stewart began taking international trips on her first day as ambassador, flying to Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Bali, Beijing, Bern, Brasilia, Brussels, Cairo, Copenhagen, Delhi, Florence, Geneva and Helsinki.

In less than two years into the role, Stewart had already travelled to Istanbul, Kinshasa, Leipzig, Lisbon, London, Milan, Mumbai, Munich, New York City, Paris, Rome, Sao Paulo, Sharm El-Sheikh, Vienna, Washington and Zurich.

Stewart’s expenses included airfare even when other options such as a train were available. 

According to the Government of Canada website, Stewart’s mandate includes “leading targeted engagements with key partner countries on clean growth and climate change” and “developing and managing relationships with key opinion leaders and stakeholders.”

“Nothing screams fighting climate change like burning through jet fuel and taxpayers’ cash,” Franco Terrazzano, federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, told True North. 

“This is a huge and recurring problem with this government where politicians and bureaucrats seem to go out of their way to fly around the world as much as possible and rack up huge taxpayer tabs.”

Stewart took a flight from Ottawa to Toronto to attend a climate conference last year to “promote Canada’s clean growth,” which cost $10,096, including airfare and $323 per night for accommodations at the Sheraton Centre Hotel.

According to the department, “in-person outreach was required to have candid conversations” and “showcase Canada’s leadership.”

A similar justification was given for Stewart’s visit to Berlin last year, which the department also deemed to be essential. 

“Ambassador Stewart engaged in outreach to advance the Prime Minister’s global carbon pricing challenge,” it wrote.

The ambassador also flew from Ottawa to New York City regularly and the records reveal she frequently stayed at high end hotels while there.

Stewart stayed at the Hotel Mercure in Rome at $390 per night, Hotel Maria Theresia in Vienna at $454 per night, and Amsterdam’s Manor Hotel at $551 per night.

During a trip to England for “carbon pricing outreach” last year, Stewart stayed at London’s Club Quarters Hotel at Trafalgar Square for $412 a night.

“The government should save taxpayers money and cut down on emissions by easing up on these extravagant international trips,” said Terrazzano.

True North contacted Stewart’s office but did not receive comment.