Harper's monster-sized delegation: 21 rabbis and a priest

COLOGNE, Germany – Prime Minister Stephen Harper is set to arrive for his first-ever visit to Israel Sunday afternoon leading a monster-sized delegation that includes 21 rabbis.

Harper left Ottawa Saturday night with his red, white, and blue Royal Canadian Air Force jet crammed with what is easily the largest delegation he has ever had for an overseas trip.

The plane landed here to refuel before continuing on to Tel Aviv.
As the plane departed Ottawa, Harper’s aides distributed a list of 208 individuals that is part of Harper’s official accompanying party for his four days in Israel.
In addition to the 21 rabbis, there are also 27 chief executives of Canadian companies, at least one Roman Catholic priest, a handful of lobbyists, and other representatives from corporate Canada.

On top of that, Harper is travelling with cabinet ministers James Moore, Ed Fast, Christian Paradis, John Baird, Jason Kenney and Joe Oliver.
But that’s just the start of the parliamentary contingent. There’s also eight MPs — Alberta’s Blake Richards, Ontario’s John Carmichael, Chungsen Leung, David Sweet, Peter Kent and Mark Adler, and BC’s James Lunney — plus two senators — Irving Gerstein and Judith Seidman.

Harper is also travelling with his regular retinue of advisors, press secretaries, RCMP security staff and bureaucrats. And, in the back of the plane, there is a regular-sized group of about 15 members of the Parliamentary Press Gallery who will report on the trip.

The travel and hotel bills for all but the media will be picked up by the Canadian taxpayer. That total is not yet available.

Media organizations, including Sun News Network, pay their own freight. For this trip, media organizations are paying $8,000 for the flight, hotel and ground transportation for each reporter, photographer, and camera person covering Harper’s trip.

After four days in Israel, Harper heads to Jordan Wednesday for three nights before returning home next Saturday.


12 thoughts on “Harper's monster-sized delegation: 21 rabbis and a priest”

  1. OR, had the media called out Con Senator Irving Gerstein, they would have found it was HE who arranged for cash-under-the-table from rich party backers which found its way into Wright’s bank account as Gerstein could not hide the $90K on the CFC books.

    Are there any conversations between Conservative Senator Irving Gerstein (Harper’s bagman) and the PMO about Nigel getting paid back from the “Conservative Fund of Canada” — the federal party’s war chest Gerstein once chaired.


  2. Seems like the cost of this flying 2015 campaign photo op is going to be positively GARGANTUAN!

    208 people? Really?

    Tories, I swear.

    1. And they still rail on about the sponsorship “scandal”. What they have done since in terms of spending from the public purse makes that look like a pot-luck church picnic.

    2. It is not like PM Harper or conservatives are pocketing the money. That is a liberal specialty (remember adscam) and then there are Ontario liberals who think spending a BILLION tax dollars from hard working people to save a liberal seat is OK. NOT!!

      This delegation is a diplomatic expense and a trade trip. Just watch, Israel will be buying Canadian products.

      1. Okay, I’ll give you that. But what does that have to do with this trip? Did you just pass by to take a jab at the LPC?

        I do have a question for you “related to this article.” You don’t have a problem with wasting tax-payer dollars as long as it is “your party” doing the wasting?

  3. Confusing reports on who’s paying. Yes we are paying for all these leeches but confusion as to whether this is “normal”. Fife said under Chretien business execs paid there own way.

  4. Who cares who knew about Duffy’s payment. Unions paid off MP Pat Martin’s legal bills and MPs actually have power.

    1. What’s the right message? 21 rabbis and a priest joining together for peace and justice would be the right message. This is really not what’s going on here. This is 21 rabbis and a priest boosting the Harper Conservatives in obstructing exactly that — peace and justice.

  5. Rather curious! So there were 21 Rabbis among the entourage including a large number of Jewish travellors – Balance? Not one passenger of Arab/Muslim descent on a trip the Middle East? WHY STEPHEN????

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