Harper showed up to TD Garden with a significant security detail of eight to 10 people. Wearing suit jacket and collared shirt, he sat 12 rows back of the ice near the blue-line. He chatted with fans near his seats and posed for pictures, smiling and waving.
Harper flew to Boston last night with a security detail of 8-10 people, his daughter Rachel, and his BFF Heritage Minister James Moore. His spokesthingy claims that the Prime Minister paid for his own tickets at $1000 per piece (for 7 rows up behind the blue line, no less). He also claims that Harper will repay the cost of a commercial airline ticket to make up for the use of the Challenger jet. Pricing the cost of three tickets for an overnight trip to Boston at Air Canada, I find that I can book three overnight tickets for $2351 if I plan far enough in advance. The Challenger Jet costs $11,000 per hour to run. Ottawa and Boston are 312 miles apart, and the jet flies at an impressive 487 mph. Assuming 20 minutes for taxiing, take-off, landing, and taxiing again, it’s a 58 minute trip, each way. Let’s round to an hour. The cost of the flight will be ~$22,000 dollars. So there’s a bit of a repayment difference here of about $19,649 (assuming $2351 is the number re-payed by the PM).
But that’s nothing. According to Peter Kent:
“He’s representing Canada,” Kent said.
“It is a major sporting event. Certainly, for many Canadians it’s the equivalent to the final hockey game in Olympic competition and the prime minister has made the commitment that he’s paying his own way.”
In other words: Austerity for thee, but not for me.