Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s protection costs have reached heights not seen in over two decades, according to the CBC.
Taxpayers have forked over $30 million annually to protect Trudeau and his family in each of the past two fiscal years. It shot up from $23.3 million in 2019/20 to $30.9 million in 2021/22 — a 32.3% increase.
In a written statement to the state broadcaster, Sgt. Kim Chamberland said a number of factors influence protection costs for the prime minister.
"These include domestic and global threat risk, the number of people travelling, the level of activity, the number of locations attended, type and number of political obligations,” she said, “as well as technological advancements, and elements dictated by economic factors such as cost of travel, accommodations and fuel."
In 2003/04, it cost $10.4 million to protect Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and his successor Paul Martin. Adjusted for inflation, that would be $15.9 million today.
"In the case of [Trudeau], of course, he's got a rather large family with three kids," said Pierre-Yves Bourduas, a former deputy commissioner of the RCMP.
For Martin, his children were grown and his family did not partake in many extracurricular activities, he claimed.
In 2006/07, Prime Minister Stephen Harper billed taxpayers $10.5 million in protection costs. In his final year as prime minister (2014/15), costs rose to $23 million.
However, protection costs rose during Harper’s term as prime minister, partially due to the costs to transport and use armoured vehicles abroad.
According to the CBC analysis, it cost the RCMP $1.2 million to transport two armoured Cadillacs and a bulletproof SUV to India for Harper's 2012/13 visit to the country.
"When Prime Minister Harper was traveling internationally, he insisted on having vehicles that would follow him, armoured vehicles," said Bourduas. “There were concerns about armoured vehicles, for instance, in other countries [being] not up to a certain standard.”
In 2022/23, protection costs for Trudeau rose again from $30.9 million to $32.5 million.
Chamberland attributed the uptick in costs post-COVID to more international travel, and a pay bump for RCMP officers.
International travel includes two taxpayer-funded vacations by Trudeau and his family this year, including an Easter weekend trip to Big Sky, Montana, costing roughly $205,000 in RCMP protection fees and overtime.