Singh won't rule out Canada footing Harry and Meghan's security bill
OTTAWA -- NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh won't rule out the possibility of Canadians footing the bill for Prince Harry and Meghan's security costs when they're in Canada.
"I'd want to make sure we make an evaluation before I make a decision around what we should do," Singh said, speaking outside his NDP caucus meeting Wednesday.
When asked if that extends to waiting for the expert determination of who should pay the bill, he agreed, saying definitively "and who should pay for it."
Singh's statement comes in contrast to his own Canadian heritage critic, Alexandre Boulerice, who just hours before had said he intends to send a message to the Liberal government that Prince Harry and his family should cover their own costs.
Boulerice said he questioned whether Canadians would welcome the idea of taxpayers footing the security bill for the royals, who are reportedly staying in a northern Victoria mansion after stepping back from their royal duties.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, meanwhile, has kept mum on the issue. Despite being asked multiple times whether Canadians can expect to pay for the Duke and Duchesses' security costs, Trudeau would not confirm whether Canada had made any security commitments to the couple.
"I have not spoken to her Majesty directly, discussions continue to be ongoing and I have no updates at this moment," he told reporters during a Tuesday press conference in Winnipeg.
Canada has yet to pay for any security guards for the Duke and Duchess so far, according to Public Safety Minister Bill Blair.
"I can tell you, right now, we are not engaged in providing those security services," Blair told reporters on Tuesday.
Blair said Harry and Meghan’s status as internationally protected persons is in flux, so the assessment of the couple's security needs is ongoing.
"So there's an assessment done by our officials who have a responsibility to maintain safety for people who may be vulnerable within our society," he explained.
"So that work is ongoing, but that has not yet been resolved."
With files from The Canadian Press and CTV’s Jackie Dunham.