PMO tried to keep Trudeau's vacation details secret
For the second year in a row, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has kept details of his family vacation secret until pressed by reporters, despite the fact taxpayers pay part of the costs.
After refusing for days to say where the Trudeaus had gone, the Prime Minister’s Office confirmed Monday that he left on Boxing Day for Nassau, Bahamas.
“He is taking private time with his family in the area,” the PMO said Monday.
"In order to protect the privacy of the Prime Minister and his family, we do not disclose the locations of their vacations prior to their departure," the PMO added in a statement to CTV News released on Tuesday.
"As you know, the Prime Minister's location and public activities in Ottawa, around the country, and overseas are published on a daily basis in the PM's 'daily itinerary' and are proactively shared with the press and made available to all Canadians."
U.S. reporters are given daily updates on President Barack Obama’s whereabouts when he takes annual vacations to Hawaii, causing many to ask whether Canadians should expect the same.
Last year, the public only learned of Trudeau's holiday to St. Kitts and Nevis after the American celebrity gossip website TMZ published photos of him at the $1,500-a-night Paradise Beach Villas.
The PMO said Trudeau paid all accommodation costs for his family for that trip, as well as the equivalent amounts for commercial flights to the Caribbean island.
Taxpayers were left with $64,000 in accommodation expenses for Trudeau’s RCMP protective detail and an estimated $48,000 to keep Ottawa’s Challenger jet and crew on standby for nine days.
Scott Reid, a former adviser to Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin, said that not all previous prime ministers have shared details of vacations and that’s fine.
“They’re entitled to their private vacation just like anybody else,” he said.
With a report from CTV’s Parliamentary Correspondent Glen McGregor