After Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his estranged wife officially separated, their family enjoyed a round trip to Tofino in mid-August — costing taxpayers a whopping $74,178 to charter a Royal Canadian Air Force jet.
According to National Defence documents obtained through an access to information request, the Trudeaus chartered a Bombardier CC-144D Challenger from August 10 to 19th.
Flying from Ottawa to Tofino, with a return flight, the jet logged 11.7 hours of flight time, including a layover in Edmonton to visit Yellowknife wildfire evacuees.
As reported by BIV, travel costs amounted to $6,340 an hour, in addition to $1,341.69 per passenger. Five others embarked on the flight to Tofino, but their names are redacted from the manifest due to ‘security reasons.’
Compared to the pre-pandemic hourly costs of $5,636 in July and August 2019 — chartering a military jet has increased by 12.5%.
Among the documents include a pre-trip email pressing an official from the Trenton Canadian Forces Base in the estimated airfare cost.
"I work with […] and I’m following up with you in regard to the quote we have been waiting for the family’s vacation to Tofino," read the August 1 email.
"As you can imagine like in any other family, they are budgeting every time and getting the quote in advance allows them to better manage and plan finances," it said, adding that an invoice would need to be paid later that month.
They received a response with an attached $67,469.55 quote on August 3.
According to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF), the costs for yet another Trudeau vacation appears tone deaf, while Canadians struggle to make ends meet amid higher fuel and food costs.
"Taxpayers shouldn't be on the hook for the Prime Minister's exorbitant vacations, especially when we already paid for a private vacation retreat of Harrington Lake for him," said Carson Binda, the group’s B.C. Director.
According to the documents, the Tofino trip represented one of five for the prime minister aboard the Challenger in August. At a flight time of 31.1 hours, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) billed taxpayers $197,174 in flights alone.
Among the trips include 11.9 hours in the air from August 24 to 26, costing $75,446. He visited West Kelowna at the time to observe the obscene damage caused by rabid wildfires, followed by a pit stop at a Vancouver environmental conference, and an in-person meeting with the premier of the Northwest Territories in Edmonton.
"That's a slap in the face," according to Binda. "That's clearly using taxpayer funds for partisan purposes, which is wholly inappropriate."
That represents $10,000 less than the flight costs for the Trudeaus in April to Montana for Easter weekend. To attend a Montana ski and snowboard resort, the PMO billed taxpayers $207,000.