When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended the Tragically Hip’s farewell concert in Kingston, Ontario this summer, his Office was quick to say that his tickets were paid for by private funds, at the invitation of band frontman Gord Downie.
Trudeau attended the concert alongside senior staffers Gerald Butts and Katie Telford, as well as the Liberal MP for Kingston and the Islands.
Even though Trudeau flew the short jaunt from Ottawa to Kingston and back on the government’s Challenger jet, additional staffers went by train, and billed the taxpayers, according to documents obtained exclusively by the Rebel under Access to Information.
When the prime minister travels for personal purposes, generally he and his passengers take the Challenger, but pay—out of pocket—the market rate for economy airfare.
Despite the Rebel’s request for all travel-related documents and expenses, no Challenger expenses or reimbursements for Trudeau were included.
The concert was held up as a unifying moment for Canadians — but it didn’t come for free.