The publicly disclosed RCMP protection bill for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry has increased by tens of thousands to $93,203, according to records obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
“It’s no wonder Canadian taxpayers were royally furious, we were left with a big bill for Meghan and Harry’s protection during their brief pit stop on the way to Hollywood,” said Aaron Wudrick, the CTF’s Federal Director.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are free to do whatever they want, but they shouldn’t expect Canadian taxpayers to foot the bill while they shop for a new place to live, and it makes it even more frustrating that the final cost is only going up.”
Back in June, the CTF uncovered that the RCMP spent $56,384 on the couple’s protection from Nov. 18, 2019, to Jan. 19, 2020.
New documents show the RCMP spent at least $93,203 from Oct. 1, 2019 to Feb. 27, 2020, an increase of $35,819, or about 65 per cent.
The currently-known bill does not include the salaries paid to the Mounties on duty and only represents costs such as overtime, travel, meals, incidentals and accommodations.
Email records released in June show the RCMP was worried about the issue “costing us huge” while attracting a lot of media attention.
“Media is on this like a hot potato ... so lots of coverage of the potential of the royals to spend half their time in Canada now, as an independent couple. Media spin is about the cost to Canadians,” wrote the RCMP’s National Division Commanding Officer Bernadine Chapman on Jan. 10, 2020.
“We are having a greater conversation next week on the go forward on this. This has a potential to cost us huge!”
Meghan and Harry relocated to Los Angeles in March. The United States’ President Donald Trump welcomed the couple on Twitter, but said they’d have to pay their own way.
After receiving records showing that costs surpassed the original $56,384, the CTF asked the RCMP if it would be seeking to recoup any of the protection money spent on the formerly-royal couple.
The RCMP responded that security costs were covered through their operational budget and made no reference to recouping the costs.
The RCMP refused to say whether the couple would receive police protection for any future visits to Canada.
The CTF has filed multiple access to information requests to obtain the total of all taxpayer costs associated with the couple stay in Canada, including RCMP salary costs.