Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stayed, apparently for free, at the luxurious Prospect Estate resort in Jamaica that would have cost the average Canadian $83,700.
The prime minister, along with his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, whom he announced a separation from in August, and their three children, spent December 26 to January 4 at the exclusive beachfront villa of Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation donor Peter Green.
Though the Trudeaus stayed nine nights in Jamaica “at no cost,” as the PMO office assured Canadians Thursday, the going rate for the Frankfort villa in the five-villa resort owned by Green is $9,300 per night, reported the National Post.
The 5,000-sq.-ft. Frankfort villa compound is a 17th century “fortified residence” big enough to hold 12 guests, and staffed with a cook, gardener, housekeepers and butlers. It has two separate buildings containing six bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, a swimming pool, hot tub, and private beach.
“Perhaps the most desirable north coast villa in Jamaica,” Prospect Estate’s website reads.
Trudeau said he would pay back Canadians the equivalent of commercial airline tickets for the use of the government jet. It would cost the family of five about $25,000 for business class travel, and $3,535 if the Trudeaus were to fly economy.
The cost per hour for the use of the government Challenger jet is $6,340, per Business Insider.
There was no mention Trudeau would pay the security costs that are required for the prime minister and his family when travelling. It requires Canadian Armed Forces aircrews and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police protective detail.
Green’s compound is the same resort to which Trudeau took his family for the holidays last year, though the PMO did not disclose who paid for that stay. However, it cost taxpayers more $149,000 for security, plus another $14,000 for a Privy Council member to stay nearby in case a secure call needed to be made during the PM’s holiday.
In April Trudeau faced the ethics committee over the potential conflict of interest of using the Caribbean property of a Trudeau Foundation affiliate over the 2022/23 holiday season.
In addition to Green’s well-documented history with the Trudeau family and donations to their foundation, he read a prayer at Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s funeral in 2000 before Justin Trudeau delivered the eulogy, per National Post.
Green’s sons Alexander and Andrew are also entwined with the Trudeau Foundation, having established a scholarship through the organization in their late mother’s name in 2021.
Trudeau denied there was any conflict of interest in the arrangement on the grounds he personally did not get involved with the foundation since becoming Liberal party leader in 2013.
“My father was godfather to one of their kids, their father was godfather to one of my brothers. This is 50 years of friendship,” Trudeau said in the House of Commons at the time.