Everyone is aware of what happened. We were informed that the Governor General incurred very significant expenditures, and obviously that caught our attention and set off alarm bells. The average person would see it as exorbitant spending.
Both the committee and Parliament are tasked with ensuring the sound management of public funds. At a time when people are telling us how much they are struggling to make ends meet as the cost of living goes up, we find out that the new Governor General, who has been on the job for less than a year, has already picked up some peculiar habits. As a result, she has racked up quite a bill, to say the least.
According to the information we received, her trip was nine days long in all. Since we last spoke, Mr. Chair, we learned new information from the media, which shed more light on the whole situation. It is all the more important that the Governor General appear before the committee. As I said, we now know more about the situation, but not enough to dispense with her appearance before the committee.
I'd like to share some of the information we learned from the media, information corroborated by the Department of National Defence.
On the trip with the Governor General were 29 of her colleagues—I wouldn't know what else to call them, but they were accompanying the Governor General—and 17 security and logistics personnel.
We now know that the bill wasn't $92,000 or $93,000. It was reviewed and lowered, and actually ended up being $80,000. I'm not sure why exactly, but it doesn't really matter. The money was for two lunches, three breakfasts and snacks. It did not include alcohol or dinners. It did not include the expenses for the duration of the nine-day trip.
I wrote the figures down. The average person wants to know what they cover. As an average person, myself, I would describe the amounts as exorbitant. Let's say the snacks cost $5,000. These aren't the kinds of snacks you buy from Mondoux. They went all out. It works out to $319 per meal. We are talking breakfasts and lunches for everyone on board, even the crew, assuming the food was available to everyone.
Here are my questions, and I may have more. I am simply trying to show how shocking this is and how much information we are missing.
First of all, who are all those people? Why does the Governor General have 29 people travelling with her?