Monday, June 20, 2005

A Free Lunch

No wonder London City Council feel they are entitled to free gourmet grub at the taxpayer funded cafeteria at City Hall. "If the MP's can eat for free, why shouldn't we"!

MPs defend parliamentary 'free lunch'

On the menu Monday: breaded sole, some french fries and a little veg on the side.

As NDP MP Pat Martin tells it, the meal is, "delicious, healthy and nutritious."

In fact, CTV News didn't have to go far to find others who felt the same way.
Hey there NDP hypocrite!! That's food that could be going to the poor!! Just imagine what Susan Eagle would say?! And I damn well hope you weren't endangering public health by eating fries cooked in oil containing trans fats.

On the menu for London councillors, at the expense of the elderly:
At $22 a meal, the cost at city hall towers over the $5 a resident Dearness Services receives from the province to buy breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks.

[..] Tuesday night's meal in London was typical, featuring chicken cordon bleu, vegetables in a phyllo pastry, fish served on a red pepper sauce with coconut shrimp, roasted potatoes, steamed vegetable, bread, salad and a wide assortment of drinks and deserts.

Asked after the meal if London was spending too much compared with other cities, Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco became upset, saying, "We had some vegetables and salad and turnovers . . . I'm not going to have this discussion."
Back to the MPs:
Bloc Quebecois MP Michel Gauthier, for example, may not be behind a united Canada. But he'll gladly throw his support behind a free Canada Dry gingerale.

But, as Gauthier explains, "It's part of the work."

When asked whether he thought it right that all MPs should eat for free, however, Liberal MP Pierre Pettigrew said no.

"No, I think we can afford to pay for our food," the foreign affairs minister told CTV. "I have no problem with that."

But Ontario Liberal MP Susan Kadis says she sees no problem with ensuring the nation's lawmakers are well fed.

"I don't think its wrong to provide something for MPs. I know myself, often there isn't time to go to the cafeteria sometimes you miss lunch."
Boo hoo hoo - judging by the waistlines of many MPs, they sure make up for their missed lunch at dinner time. And as for providing "something for MPs", well, that's called a salary. But I suppose the budget is a little tight when your base salary is only $141,000 a year. Thanks to you and your kind, I soon won't be able to afford to pay for my lunch after you've finished gorging at my expense. These will be the same people jumping the breadline and getting the pieces of cabbage and portions of meat, while those at the end of the line will be left with nothing but brown broth.

And what's with the plug for Canada Dry - are they too receiving government contracts and kickbacks? Or do you figure Gauthier is just trying to be funny?
CTV News has learned that the federal parties order approximately 180 meals a day, four days a week when Parliament is sitting.

Based on a catering price list that pegs the cost of Monday's fish dish at just under $20, the Parliamentary kitchen is serving some 20,160 meals a year for a total tab to taxpayers of $382,000.

[..] When CTV asked the MPs who was paying for their lunch, many had no idea. Of those who ventured a guess, most thought their parties paid.

If they were to pay, it could cost a little more. When CTV went to the Parliament Hill and ordered Monday's fish meal, for example, the bill came to $31.
The free food falls from the heavens and the trough keepers justify their unfair advantage as follows:
DeCicco also took umbrage with those who say dinner meals are paid for by taxpayers, noting councillors must treat the meals as a taxable benefit. "It's not a subsidy." she said.
Like, thanks for clearing that up for us all Anne Marie.