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The Trudeau family loves its holidays.
Of course, we all do. But most of us aren’t taking holidays that land us in the soup.
The most recent one, according to a CBC report published Monday, was that Justin Trudeau and his family — plus the assorted cadre of staff and bodyguards — travelled to Jamaica last year to stay at a luxurious resort owned by Peter Green, who also happens to be a donor to the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation.
But it’s far from the first.
Here’s a look at some of Trudeau’s more controversial holidays.
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The Aga Khan’s private island
In December 2016, Trudeau and his family flew to The Bahamas. There, they were shuttled around on the Aga Khan’s private helicopter. The trip cost the government $215,000.
Notably, the Prime Minister’s Office had not made public the fact that Trudeau was off on a private island. It was actually the second time they’d tried to do that, but in 2015, TMZ, the gossip website, published the details.
The media swiftly reported the details and Mary Dawson, the ethics commissioner, undertook an investigation. She found that Trudeau had violated four sections of the Conflict of Interest Act that “seeks to prevent conflicts between private interests and the public duties of appointed government officials, called public office holders.”
Trudeau had claimed that the Aga Khan was a “close family friend.” Dawson found that wasn’t the case.
Importantly, the Aga Khan Foundation received $50 million in funding from the Liberal government in 2016.
A beach trip on Truth and Reconciliation Day
In 2021, on the first-ever National Day for Truth and Reconciliation — held in the wake of the probable discovery of graves of Indigenous children who’d died in residential schools — Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, eschewed ceremony and jetted off to Tofino, B.C., for a family holiday.
On that day, Trudeau’s office had claimed the prime minister was in private meetings, while in fact he was headed out on a holiday. (Admittedly, Trudeau apparently had a number of phone calls with residential school survivors that day, too.)
Also of note: Trudeau had been invited to attend Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc, where the first probable graves were found, but did not attend.
The estimated total cost of the flight, according to Department of National Defence estimates, was just shy of $20,000.
It was also, The Canadian Press reported at the time, Trudeau’s eighth visit to the West Coast since he became prime minister in 2015.
A very expensive trip to Costa Rica
Costa Rica’s an expensive getaway to begin with.
The Trudeau family’s vacation to Costa Rica, in 2019, cost some $200,000.
That appears to have been so expensive because of multiple flights moving around flight crew members. The cost for the Trudeau family itself was, according to the government, just $57,647.
The family was back in Costa Rica for two weeks in 2022.
Technically speaking, this was a work trip. But Trudeau’s 2018 visit to India was widely viewed as a spectacular catastrophe. The Trudeau family spent a good deal of time wearing various Indian costumes and dancing.
But, there was also the matter of a man who had murdered an Indian politician popping up at official events.
That trip cost at least $1.66 million.
In 2019, the Trudeau family headed down to Florida for a spring break vacation.
Two days into the trip, though, Trudeau hopped on a plane and flew back to the capital for 21 hours, apparently because of private meetings. (This was, incidentally, during the whole SNC-Lavalin affair.)
More to come …?
Well, a couple of weeks ago Trudeau was in Montana. Reason: unclear. The PMO simply says it was a personal day.
It’s possible, given Montana’s reputation as a snow destination, that that’s what the prime minister was up to.
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