Harper's Taj Mahal taxi cost us $1,000,000

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They had a nice visit at our expense

Stephen Harper spent $ 1 million of taxpayers' money to ship over by air to India his two armored limousines ahead of his four-day visit there last fall.

He turned down an offer by the Indian Government to use the Indian Prime Minister's own armored limousine during his four-day visit which included a little side trip for himself and his wife Laureen Teskey, at taxpayers' expense.

Both cars were sent from Ottawa to India aboard a Boeing C-17 six days before Harper arrived on his visit.

The C-17 left Canada October 29 2012 and returned November 10, 2012, one day after the end of Harper's visit. While in India, the C-17 flew 48.5 hours, hustling Harper's limousine around to three cities, according to a document tabled in Parliament earlier this week.

The Opposition dubbed Harper's Cadillac limousine "the Taj Mahal Taxi."

NDP MP Charlie Angus said:

"This is a government that has the nerve to tell the elderly that the coffers are empty, but money is no object when it comes to their own advantages.

"The limousine offered by India was good enough for the Prime Minister of Australia, when she visited India, but not good enough for our Harper," said Angus.

Indian limousines will be sufficient, it seems, for British Prime Minister David Cameron when he visits India soon.

Foreign Minister John Baird said Tuesday that the Harper government used its own limousines, because it did not trust the limousines offered by India because India has registered "a tragic loss of prime ministers due to violence in recent years."

The reasoning was not accepted by Indian government officials who were insulted by the perceived snub. They asked who in India might want to kill Harper whose visit was almost totally ignored by the Indian news media.

 

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