Friday 29 September 2023

Canada’s PM criticized at home for vacationing in Costa Rica

Justin Trudeau (and family) is spending two weeks in Costa Rica. So what?

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29 September 2023 - At The Banks - Source: BCCR

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RICO’s DIGEST – There is never really a good time for a politician, especially a top politician, like Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, on the second week of his Costa Rica vacation, to take some leisure time.

While Trudeau, accompanied by his family, enjoys the beaches of Costa Rica’s Pacific, there is strong criticism at home, like from the Toronto Sun suggesting the PM lead by example, with a vacation closer to home.

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Mixed in the criticism is the defense of the PM’s decision to take some family time, blasting some media commentators in Canada criticizing other media for having reported on Trudeau’s Costa Rica vacation, as if it should be some sort of state secret and its unfair to criticize the PM for going on vacation when there are serious issues at home.

The reason Trudeau’s vacations have been controversial is that the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has been secretive about them. Colomnuistt Lornie Goldstein made the point, “the PM is entitled to vacations — taxpayers are entitled to know where”.

In an opinion piece, Canada’s Globe and Mail writes, ‘No politician is really immune … Trudeau is being attacked for jetting off to Costa Rica for two weeks, which some see as particularly out-of-touch at a time when Canadians are being squeezed by inflation and health-care troubles at home”.

“It’s a cheap and easy way to land a political punch… let the Prime Minister have some time away. If nothing else, maybe he’ll get to experience an ArriveCan glitch firsthand on his way back,” writes Robyn Urback.

The Toronto Star, though not mentioning the Trudeau vacation, in its article “Wouldn’t you rather be working from Costa Rica?” that delves into the benefits of working remotely from Costa Rica (and other locations) and the country’s new digital nomads law that allows travelers to work remotely from the country for up to two years.

In the case of Trudeau, his digital nomad stay would only be two weeks. The Prime Minister’s Office noted that during his Costa Rica vacation, Trudeau is getting regular briefings.

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Justin Trudeau is spending two weeks in Costa Rica. So what?

The Trudeau family arrived in Costa Rica at the end of July, on a Royal Canadian Air Force plane for security reasons – even for personal travel, returning to the same place where they stayed over the Christmas holiday in 2019 and are paying for their own accommodations.

Canada’s Prime Minister getting of the RCAF plane at the Guanacaste airport

Read more: Canadian Prime Minister vacations with his family in Costa Rica

The PMO also says it consulted with the office of the federal ethics commissioner about the holiday.

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Costa Rica’s immigration has not yet confirmed Trudeau’s leaving the country.



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