As the nation kicked off the 150th birthday celebrations that are Canada 2017, the prime minister was nowhere to be found.
He did make an appearance on Rick Mercer’s show for New Year’s Eve. In the middle of a coast to coast showcase of musical acts ringing in the New Year, CBC and Rick mercer paused to show us our PM playing a trivia game.
That’s what everyone wants to see during a New Years party, the prime minister – well maybe CBC fans do.
But while Trudeau made an appearance at the party it was of course pre-recorded and he had high tailed it out of Canada long before.
At first his office wouldn’t say where. They tried to keep it a secret.
Then they relented and let it be known that Trudeau and family, just like last year, were taking a Christmas break in the Caribbean, this time the Bahamas.
I don’t begrudge Trudeau a break. We all need a break but it’s that I begrudge how many breaks and vacations he takes.
Maybe I should be happy, if he is on vacation he isn’t around to try and wreck the place. But Trudeau takes a lot of vacations and they cost you plenty!
Keeping track of all his vacations can be tough but I do my best and here is what I have just for the last year.
Last Christmas and New Years, Trudeau and his family were is in St. Kitts, a tropical paradise.
Last winter Trudeau and family took a ski and snowboard trip to Whistler and another trip to Quebec City for carnival.
There was his Easter vacation on Fogo Island, a remote and elite spot in Newfoundland where hotel rooms start at $1,575 a night.
There was his famous shirtless photobombing while taking a surfing trip to Tofino, British Columbia.
And now, New Years in the Bahamas.
On top of that we can add in an extra day in Japan for the Trudeau’s to celebrate their wedding anniversary which actually happened when they were back in Canada.
And we can add an extra day in New York City to see the musical Hamilton.
Before news of the Bahamas trip broke CBC reported that Trudeau reimbursed taxpayers for nine private trips, add in Bahamas and he is at ten vacations.
Did you get ten vacations or private trips last year?
In the past I’ve defended taxpayers paying extra for the prime minister to go on vacation. The PM has security needs, his security level and requirements are set by the RCMP. I get all of the reasons.
And I’ve defended this set up for Stephen Harper and yes, I’ve even done the same for Justin Trudeau – but no more.
While I understand that it costs more for the PM to travel, I don’t understand why he needs so many vacations.
I think Trudeau has taken more vacations on our dime than Stephen Harper did in his entire time in office.
Trudeau, like past prime ministers does reimburse taxpayers for the equivalent to the economy fare price for private use of the jet that takes him and his family to these various locales. But that is hardly equivalent to the actual cost.
And no, I’m not talking about the cost of flying.
On just the St. Kitts trip last year the cost to have his RCMP detail put up at the same ritzy location as Trudeau was $64,000 – that is just the accommodation and office space the RCMP needed to do their jobs. The cost to put up the air crew while they were on standby for nine days - $48,000 or about what the average middle class Canadian earns while working full time all year.
Trudeau loves to claim he's all about the middle class but he doesn’t act like it.
What is middle class about ten vacations in a year?
What is middle class about forcing tax payers to pick up the tab for your nannies, your security detail and keeping an air crew on stand by for more than a week?
You repeat that every six weeks or so over ten vacations and things add up quickly.
And did you know that Trudeau has access to a palatial cottage on a secluded lake – the PM’s official summer home at Harrington Lake, open year round in the picturesque Gatineau Hills?
This is just the latest example of Trudeau hosing the taxpayers and showing that the Liberal mantra of being entitled to your entitlements still holds true.
John F. Kennedy said to the American people “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
Trudeau and his Liberals have reversed that phrase while planting their hand firmly in your pocket, all the better to pick it. Shame on them.