Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr took energy ministers from the U.S. and Mexico to a Winnipeg Jets hockey game and dinged taxpayers for the bill to the tune of $1,784, government records show.
The seven NHL tickets for the Feb. 11 game against the Boston Bruins cost $1,258.25, and Carr charged taxpayers another $525.30 to rent limos for the one-kilometre journey from the Fort Garry Hotel to Winnipeg’s MTS Centre arena.
The approval request form, released as part of an access to information request submitted by Conservative MP Candice Bergen, describes the function as a ‘sport event for the US-Canada-Mexico trilateral meeting of energy ministers and ambassadors.’
However, the section of the form used to describe why the event would provide ‘value for money’ for the Department of Natural Resources was left blank.
Pedro Joaquín Coldwell, Mexico’s Secretary of Energy, and Dr. Ernest Moniz, United States Secretary of Energy, were in Winnipeg for the North American Energy Ministers Meeting held on Feb. 12.
Aside from them and Carr, the other tickets to the hockey game went to the two ambassadors, a translator and a security agent.
During their meeting, the ministers signed a memorandum of understanding on climate change and energy collaboration.
Global News contacted Minister Carr’s office for comment on Tuesday afternoon. A spokesperson said that the hockey game “provided an opportunity for US Energy Secretary Dr. Ernest Moniz, Mexico Energy Secretary Pedro Joaquín Coldwell and Minister Jim Carr to pursue discussions, which set the stage for the signing of the (memorandum of understanding) in Winnipeg the following day.”
All expenses were “within the Treasury Board Directive on Travel, Hospitality, Conference and Event Expenditures,” the spokesperson added.