Taxpayers pick up tab for $7,000 Tory pizza lunch

The House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa is pictured September 14, 2012. (Reuters/CHRIS...

The House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa is pictured September 14, 2012. (Reuters/CHRIS WATTIE)

David Akin, National Bureau Chief

, Last Updated: 8:37 AM ET

OTTAWA — Taxpayers have paid for more than $130,000 in meals for Conservative political staff and the country's top bureaucrats since 2010.

One single lunch bill alone, QMI Agency has learned, was for nearly $7,000 so 330 Conservative political aides could eat pizza, garlic bread, caesar salad and fettucine at a professional development day held on the political equivalent of the last day of school in late June, 2012.

And who signed off on that June 28, 2012, PD day? None other than Nigel Wright, the Bay Street millionaire chief of staff to Prime Minister Stephen Harper who would be fired within a year for cutting a $90,000 cheque from his own bank account to try to hush up the Mike Duffy affair.

Liberal MP Gerry Byrne said that kind of spending — lunch for Conservative political staff only — is clearly offside.

"That really does seem to be more of a party event. That's an awful lot of money," Byrne said.


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