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Vancouver councillor asking city to pay for trip to Halifax for Juno Awards

The 2024 Juno Awards sign located in downtown Dartmouth, N.S. (Paul Hollingsworth/ CTV Atlantic) The 2024 Juno Awards sign located in downtown Dartmouth, N.S. (Paul Hollingsworth/ CTV Atlantic)
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Updated Feb. 23: Klassen's request was withdrawn on Friday, according to the council's agenda. The original story follows.

A Vancouver city councillor is asking for $3,650 in taxpayer money to attend the Juno Awards with the mayor next month.

Coun. Mike Klassen's request is coming to a meeting next Tuesday because travel expenses other than attendance at pre-approved conventions require a vote.

A report coming to council says Klassen wants to travel to Halifax as a "representative" of the city of Vancouver, which is set to host the awards in 2025.

"It also presents an opportunity to observe and learn from how the City of Halifax creates an experience around the awards to benefit the broader community of music fans," the document says, recommending council authorize the expenditure from the councillors travel budget.

A breakdown of the cost is included, showing the $1,855 for a flight, $895 for accommodations, and $300 each for ground transportation, event tickets, and a per diem.

Mayor Ken Sim will be attending the awards and his trip will be paid for out of the budget for his office, according to an email from a spokesperson. The cost is estimated at $3,550.37 and the expenditure does not require council approval.

"The Junos serve as an opportunity to highlight Canadian music and culture. As Vancouver is set to host the Junos in 2025, the mayor was formally invited to attend in advance of next year," Sim's press secretary said.

"This trip serves as an incredible opportunity for Vancouver to gain valuable insights into organizing next year’s event.”

OneCity Coun. Christine Boyle, who is not with Sim and Klassen's ABC party, has already slammed the move online – noting that this year's budget came with a tax increase of 7.5 per cent and included a $180,000 funding boost for the mayor's office.

"They want to go on a fun trip with public money? At a time when Vancouver households are struggling more than ever, this is incredibly out of touch," she wrote.

Council will vote on Klassen's request next Tuesday.

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