Justin Trudeau ran away from questions about time and money, when taxpayers footed the bill for his trip to Vancouver at the end of August to star in a Liberal Party campaign ad.
His last taxpayer-funded trip to British Columbia before the election campaign officially started included the sequel to the 2015 campaign ad targeted at British Columbians. Both ads show Trudeau running up the world famous Grouse Grind trail in North Vancouver.
The ideal sunny, blue sky conditions of 2015 were replaced on Aug. 30 by fog, rain and cool temperatures at the tourist attraction. The conditions were a symbol of Trudeau’s troubled first term as Prime Minister, in which he was found to have broken the conflict of interest laws twice and broke numerous promises. Under the 2015 Liberal platform, Canada was supposed to get electoral reform and communities were supposed to become empowered grant permission for pipelines and LNG plants. Federal books were supposed to be balanced by election time.
The Grouse Grind advertising shoot was the key part of Trudeau’s seventh taxpayer-funded trip on a government jet to the west coast since late May. Trudeau had used taxpayer resources to frequently visit B.C. for photo ops, campaign rallies and cash for access party fundraisers in the lead-up to the election.
Before the federal election officially started Sept. 11, theBreaker.news asked both the Prime Minister’s Office and the Department of National Defence for costs of Trudeau’s trips on government jets to B.C. They both refused to release the numbers. PMO spokeswoman Brook Simpson said the flights for Trudeau and his entourage “followed all appropriate rules and guidelines.”
Climbing the Grouse Grind trail was also an apt metaphor for the rising public debt under the Trudeau Liberals. In 2015, Trudeau got elected on a promise to balance the budget by 2019.
Trudeau refused to stop and answer a question about the forecast $19 billion deficit from the only reporter on scene at the Grouse Grind trailhead.
Trudeau was joined by B.C. candidates Harjit Sajjan, Terry Lake, Terry Beech and Tamara Taggart. Taggart, the former TV anchorwoman running in Vancouver Kingsway, left the trail only four minutes after beginning the hike. She claimed to have neck pain. She took the Skyride up the mountain and was included later in the ad in a scene purported to be Trudeau nearing the top of the trail.
Taggart did not respond to an interview request.
In 2015, Trudeau claimed a Grind time of 54 minutes and 55 seconds. On Aug. 30, it was reported to be 52:55, exactly two minutes faster. But, strangely, Trudeau would not stop to answer a question about his finish time when he exited the Skyride station toward one of the more than a dozen RCMP vehicles that had waited on standby for four hours.
Documents obtained under Freedom of Information from the Metro Vancouver regional government show that Toronto production company Suneeva and ad agency Oryx were involved in the ad’s production. The producers paid a $5,000 deposit and $1,700 rental fee to Metro Vancouver, which regulates the Grouse Grind trail. An application for the production was filed a week earlier, initially for an anonymous VIP hoping to beat his personal best time.
When Grouse Grinders reach the top, they take the Grouse Mountain Skyride down. That is operated by a private company ultimately owned by Shanghai’s China Minsheng Investment Group. The Chinese parent includes directors who are Communist Party members. China Minsheng bought the beloved four season resort from local McLaughlin family in 2017. It was the most-prominent of the many Vancouver area assets sold to wealthy Chinese interests since Trudeau came to power in 2015.
Oct. 21 is election day.
CLICK BELOW AND WATCH Justin Trudeau star in campaign ads on the Grouse Grind
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