Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Canadian delegation to King Charles III’s coronation racked up $534,675 in expenses during the three-day trip.
Final costs are expected to rise even higher as expenses are still being processed, according to access-to-information records obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
“The King’s coronation is a big event, but that doesn’t mean taxpayers should be paying half-a-million dollars so more than 100 people can travel to England,” said Franco Terrazzano, CTF Federal Director. “It seems like this government goes out of its way to bring along as many people as possible and to stay in the fanciest hotels.”
Canada’s delegation was 102 people strong – including 87 travelling with Trudeau and 15 travelling with Governor General Mary Simon. That means the cost per traveller was $5,241 for the three-day trip.
Trudeau’s troupe spent $305,188 on accommodations at the Edwardian Pastoria Hotels Ltd., a high-end luxury hotel chain in London. They also spent $45,760 at the Great Scotland Yard Hotel and $15,881 at the Southampton Row Hotel.
Simon and her entourage spent $155,283 on rooms at the London & Regional hotel.
Bureaucrats bought $300 worth of wine and beer for the flights to London, then spent $555 at “Majestic Wine London” upon arrival, according to the records.
“Did taxpayers really need to pay for 102 people to travel to England, and did they each need to rack up an average bill of $5,000?” Terrazzano said. “And if bureaucrats want to delete a couple cold ones, they’re paid more than enough money to pick up the tab themselves.”
King Charles III acceded to the throne Sept. 8, 2022, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. His coronation was held at Westminster Abbey May 6, 2023.
In addition to Trudeau and Simon, the Canadian delegation included various bureaucrats, several Indigenous leaders, a handful of youth leaders and astronauts Jennifer Sidey-Gibbons and Jeremy Hanson, among others.
Canada also sent a sizeable delegation to Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral in September 2022, racking up nearly $400,000 in hotel costs alone.
Included among those costs was a $6,000-per-night luxury suite at the Corinthia Hotel, which came with a marble bathroom and “complimentary butler service.”
After bureaucrats refused to disclose who had stayed in the River Suite, the CTF filed an access-to-information request. In response, the government released the records, but redacted the name.
The CTF then launched a legal challenge to force the government to disclose who stayed in the suite.
Trudeau finally admitted he stayed in the $6,000 per-night luxury suite during President Joe Biden’s visit to Canada in March 2023.
Documents obtained by the Toronto Sun in February revealed that federal bureaucrats were worried about the cost of hotels for the King’s coronation in the aftermath of the earlier scandal over the $6,000-per-night luxury suite.
Writing to a bureaucrat at Global Affairs Canada, Davon Singh, Director of the Executive Office & Head of Visits at Canada’s High Commission in London, wondered if the size of the Canadian delegation should be reduced to save on costs.
“Should we look into reduced numbers or stick with the amount you’ve currently sent us?” Singh wrote.
“I think we should keep our current numbers,” read the response from the Visits Coordinator for Global Affairs Canada.
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