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Gary Lunn racks up $180K in travel expenses

Canada's minister of state for sport billed taxpayers $180,476.52 for travel expenses since Jan. 1, 2009.

Records show Gary Lunn racked up a $10,213.49 Olympic hotel bill from Feb. 4 to March 1 in Vancouver and Whistler. That's an average $392.83 a night. By comparison, deputy minister Judith LaRocque, the federal government Olympic mission coordinator, spent $5,693.73 on 23 nights of accommodation for a nightly $247.55 average.

Lunn's spending peaked at $46,225.64 from Sept. 2 to Dec. 1 when he attended the Olympic flame-lighting in Greece, International Olympic Committee session in Denmark and Pan American Sport Organization assembly in Mexico.

Spokeswoman Vanessa Schneider said the Victoria-area Conservative minister's accommodation "was booked by the department in accordance with government guidelines."

Ward Elcock, Privy Council head of Olympic security, spent $18,768.44 from Jan. 7 - March 11, including four trips to Vancouver: Jan. 12-14, Feb. 8-12 and 19-21 and March 8-11.

Elcock billed $62,483 in 2009 when his schedule included eight trips to Vancouver and one to Victoria for Olympic security meetings and exercises. He also visited Washington, D.C. last May to meet with congress members and officials of the State, Homeland Security and Defence departments. In June, he visited London for meetings with the Metropolitan Police and United Kingdom Home Office.

Bob Mackin reports for 24 Hours.

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