Cold Camembert: Canada’s Political Airline Food Scandal

Posted in Canada, Media, North America, On the Ground

Airline food causes a lot of problems for a lot of people, but it’s usually of the gastrointestinal variety. This week, however, a Canadian Senator in Ottawa (not to be confused with the NHL’s Ottawa Senators) got in trouble for skipping her airline breakfast and expensing her replacement to the Canadian people. As a result, the Canadian media machine has ratcheted up into full-on scandal level. It hasn’t been this exciting in Canada since that huge maple syrup robbery a few years ago.

Conservative Sen. Nancy Ruth (Toronto) is under investigation by the auditor general for misusing her government expense account to pay for things that may be deemed unnecessary, like ordering and expensing breakfast when she was given a free breakfast on a flight. When confronted about this, Ruth defended her actions to the media. “Well, those (free) breakfasts are pretty awful, “Ruth said. “If you want ice-cold Camembert with broken crackers, you can have it.”

That was all it took to set the Canadian Media Machine on fire and pretty much every major media outlet in Canada has covered the story as if she also mentioned that French Canadians should stop eating poutine. Consider it the Canadian Cheese Party if you will. Here’s the video of the backpack-wearing Sen. Ruth responding to reporters questions with her thoughts on fancy cheese:

I don’t necessarily blame Senator Ruth. I’ve had some awful breakfasts on planes (*cough* Fiji Airways *cough*) and definitely grabbed a better option when I was on the ground. That said, lumping all airline breakfast into the same category is unfair. What airline were you flying, Senator? Should the Canadian people have to subsidize your sophisticated palate when it was your fault for choosing a Bad Breakfast Airline? Clearly she didn’t have this adorable mini-bagel and lox from Air France:


It’s been a big week for North American Senators in the frequent flyer news. Gary Leff of View from the Wing reported that Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey was under investigation for accepting a Paris hotel room paid for via American Express Membership Rewards points.


Photo:AttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved by Tony Webster

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