How much does a cup of coffee cost the taxpayers?

Stephen Harper loves Tim Hortons. He’s just like every other coffee-loving hockey mom and dad – or so goes the Conservative government's story line.

So when news leaked out (kudos CTV News) that the public purse picked up the $6,650 tab (plus a 23% service charge!) for coffee for a few hundred business executives in New York City, it just smells bad. It’s also a giant rip-off.

Let’s do the math. Say 300 people were at the event "hosted" by the Canadian American Business Council. That’s over $27 per cup of coffee. Who knew a $16 glass of orange juice was such a bargain for the taxpayer? 

It gets worse. For people back home watching the news about Harper’s NYC trip – the folks who spend less than a toonie for a double-double – it really looked like Harper was a guest at the event.

Guests don’t usually pay for the coffee – or for the room. And yet, the Conservative government doled out $33,500 (plus a 23% service change!) for the room rental. Another $14,709.15 was needed to cover audio-visual services to spread Harper’s aggressive push for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. His view: “you don't take no for an answer.”

Here’s a question: how do coffee-loving hockey moms and dads tell Stephen Harper there are better ways to invest over $65,000?

Photo: laqos. Used under a Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0 licence.