Remember back when the Conservative government, mindful of the appearance of shelling out thousands of dollars to jet off to exotic locales on the taxpayer dime, announced a new policy on government travel? Ministers, we were told, would henceforth be consigned to steerage with the unwashed Air Mile-hoarding masses. It’s a policy that may hit some senior members of the cabineterati especially hard. The Ottawa Citizen reports that, up until the end of last year, ministers and political staffers were still “racking up” sizeable travel bills – an $11,000 jaunt through South America by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty here, a $26,000 trip for two to Qatar by International Cooperation Minister Bev Oda there. The first batch of expense reports from 2009 will be made public at the end of March, and you can bet reporters will be scouring the details to make sure that the PM’s hairshirt edict is being followed to the letter.