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G8, G20 summit expenses started to mount before meetings even began Add to ...

A new spending report shows the Harper government started racking up expenses for the G8 and G20 summits well before the June meetings even began.

A list of expenditures for preparatory meetings obtained by The Canadian Press includes more than $200,000 for a May meeting at Chateau Lake Louise in Alberta, more than $6,000 for photography services at a meeting the same month in Calgary, and nearly $13,000 in catering costs for an Ottawa dinner in March.

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The preparatory meetings were intended to reduce the amount of time and resources required at the summit.

While incomplete, the list offers an idea of the level of spending leading up to the summits.

An April meeting at Chateau Whistler in Alberta, for instance, totalled nearly $45,000, while entertainment for a February meeting in Yellowknife cost almost $9,000.

Critics say the spending goes against the intention of the meetings.

"These meetings were supposed to be about austerity," Liberal MP Mark Holland said Sunday.

"I see a lot of extremely expensive hotels on that list."

The government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The latest figures come following Friday's release of new departmental spending records for the summits, which included $100-apiece pens for the leaders, and more than $86,000 worth of lapel pins and zipper pulls.

Despite the largesse, government officials have said they expect to come in well under their $1.13-billion budget for the meetings in Toronto and Huntsville, Ont.

But all the bills aren't in yet. There is still a question mark around the final breakdown for security, with policing bills not expected until the end of the year. Officials said they expect the final security bill to be $676 million.

Opposition politicians have already blasted the Conservatives for some previously revealed spending, most notably the $1.9 million "fake lake" pavilion, and $14,000 for glow sticks.

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