Canada: people trudge, the Prime Minister takes luxury vacations
TORONTO – Ordinary Canadians struggle to make ends meet, amid skyrocketing prices, impossible rents, inflation and interest rates at the highest levels. And what does the Prime Minister do? “Set an example”, spending about 160,000 public dollars – between security and costs of personnel who have to move in the event of a trip by a PM – for a week-long family vacation in Jamaica during the winter, in a luxurious estate (“Prospect Villas”) belonging to a wealthy family friend, Peter Green, who two years ago also made a substantial donation to the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation.
Details of Justin Trudeau’s trip are contained in documents submitted to the House of Commons last month in response to questions from MPs and came under the spotlight after a CBC / Radio-Canada report. And the oppositions naturally unleashed, but not only them: even the ally (conveniently, given that the government is a minority) Jagmeet Singh has criticized the behavior of “his” prime minister.
“There is an ethical problem here” the NDP leader said, referring to the difficulties faced by Canadians who cannot afford private health services or who are struggling with the cost of housing or groceries. “What this holiday shows is yet another example of a Prime Minister who doesn’t understand people’s challenges, hasn’t lived through those struggles, and isn’t willing to use every power, every tool at his disposal to solve those problems”.
Furthermore, the fact that the holiday had as its destination a structure of a supporter of the Trudeau Foundation put the Prime Minister in an even more bad light, given that the Foundation itself – named after his father – ended up in the storm for a donation of $ 200,000 with alleged ties to Beijing, the capital of the Chinese communist regime which has been the subject of allegations of attempted foreign interference in Canadian federal elections.
In short, a mess, regarding which Justin Trudeau himself has repeatedly stated that he has not been involved for years in the Foundation named after his father. Except then go on vacation in the luxurious structure of a generous donor of the Foundation itself.
The Prime Minister was in Jamaica with his family from December 26, 2022 to January 4, 2023. According to CBC / Radio-Canada, detailed travel expenses include $115,526 for RCMP-guaranteed safety for Trudeau and his family. In addition, the bill calls for the use of four Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) flight crew: all PMs are required to fly in a Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft for safety reasons, even if it is for personal travel, and that bill totals $29,951.92 in accommodations, $3,685.05 in per diems, and $40.20 in other expenses, including currency exchange fees and ground transportation, while meals were provided by the hotel. Additionally, the Privy Council Office (PCO) recorded expenses of $16,859.11.
But the Prime Minister is not new to these expenses: the family’s flights to and from Costa Rica during the 2019 Christmas holidays cost the federal government about $57,000 while thousands more were spent on the stay of the crews of flight. The Canadian Taxpayer’s Federation later argued that the costs were likely closer to a total of just under $200,000, when you factor in all flight crew and operating costs for the government aircraft. Already in 2016, Trudeau had ended up in a storm for a vacation on the private island of the Aga Khan in the Bahamas: the cost of the trip, more than $ 200,000. You know: old habits die hard…
In the pics above, one of the “Prospect Villas” properties in Jamaica, where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (small photo, from his Twitter page) spent his winter holidays with his family (photo from https://www.prospect-villas.com)
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