Trudeau's April excursion to Montana cost taxpayers $228,000: report

Taxpayers paid $204,993 for accommodations, meals, and travel for the prime minister, his protection detail and other staff during their five-day stay. The Canadian Armed Forces and Privy Council spent an additional $23,846 on the trip.

Trudeau's April excursion to Montana cost taxpayers $228,000: report
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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau continues to splurge on family vacations at the expense of the taxpayer — this time heading to the slopes of Montana.

From April 6 to 10, the prime minister stayed in Bozeman, and Big Sky, Montana, costing taxpayers nearly a quarter of a million dollars, reported the CBC

According to the state broadcaster, the $228,839 price tag exceeds the figure tabled by the federal government two weeks ago. 

In response to an order paper question by Conservative MP Luc Berthold, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and Privy Council spent $23,846 on the trip.

Other expenses included $204,993 for accommodations, meals, travel and overtime pay for Trudeau’s protection detail.

However, that sum excludes the salaries of RCMP officers serving as the prime minister’s security, as well as the air force crew that flew them and a Privy Council official who accompanied the prime minister to maintain secure communications.

On the trip, the RCMP incurred the most costs of all agencies, including $58,681 in overtime and $146,312 in miscellaneous travel costs.

The air force crew spent $2,752 for accommodations, $1,756 for per diems and $13,396 for fuel, catering, handling and ground transportation.

The Privy Council incurred the lowest costs — $1,581 for accommodations, $1,226 for per diems, $1,667 for airfare, $26.72 for other expenses and $1,438 for other transportation.

In a request for comment by the CBC, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) refused to answer questions on the trip, including where Trudeau stayed, whom he visited and other parties that joined him.

"As per long-standing government policy and for security reasons, the prime minister must travel on government aircraft, whether he is on official or personal business," said Alison Murphy, PMO spokesperson, in an email statement.

"As was the case with previous prime ministers, when travelling for personal reasons, the prime minister and any guests travelling with him reimburse an equivalent commercial airfare."

The PMO also failed to explain why the feds did not disclose the RCMP salary costs in the response to the order paper question.

In filings submitted to the federal ethics commissioner, Trudeau declared a "ground security motorcade" during a "private visit in Big Sky, Montana" as a gift from the U.S. Secret Service.

After landing in Bozeman on April 6, the prime minister’s motorcade drove an hour to Big Sky's slopes, often frequented by the world’s rich and famous. 

Melanie Rushworth, director of communications for the ethics commissioner, said the office only gets involved in the vacations of elected officials "when the travel or stay could be considered a gift under the Conflict of Interest Act or the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons."

Anthony Guglielmi, chief of communications for the U.S. Secret Service told the CBC they do not consider the motorcade as a gift.

"Federal law mandates that the United States Secret Service provide protection to any heads of state while on U.S. soil," Guglielmi wrote in an email statement. "This protection is provided 24 hours a day by highly trained federal law enforcement agents and mission support teams.”

The state broadcaster did not obtain the tabulated costs for the motorcade at the time of writing.

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