LILLEY: Trudeau takes his Gatsbyesque life and RCMP to Georgian Bay

The scuttlebutt on Georgian Bay over the weekend was all about the trouble cottagers were having getting their sailboats, yachts and pontoon cruisers in and out of the marina easily.

Seems some big wig hit town and brought his security detail with him.

That big wig would be Prime Minister and his security detail which was spotted in the form of armed RCMP officers in menacing-looking boats ready to give chase at a moment’s notice.

Trudeau has taken his Gatsbyesque life to Ontario’s cottage country.

Pointe au Baril, the cottage community where Trudeau has been spotted, is used to well-to-do and well-known people passing through. The Weston family, owners of Loblaws, Shopper’s Drug Mart and a host of other businesses, owns a few properties in the area.

Despite claims from the local and rumours on Twitter, the PM’s office insists to me that he is not staying at a property owned by the Weston clan. Probably for the best but given the way Trudeau likes to stay at exclusive properties owned by people who get government money, I had to ask.

“The prime minister is taking some time off with his family in Ontario and Quebec,” said Trudeau’s press secretary, Alex Wellstead.

So where is he staying? Is he at the cottage of a Liberal donor or supporter? The estate of another corporate titan? No says his office, they rented a cottage for the week, “kind of an Airbnb.”

Probably not Airbnb, but I get it, they rented a place for the week and who can blame them? Don’t we all need and deserve a vacation? Don’t we all need one especially in the middle of a pandemic?

Absolutely and I’ve never denied politicians should take downtime: It’s good for the soul, it makes us better workers when we return refreshed. My main complaints about Trudeau’s vacations in the past haven’t been that he’s taken them but how often he’s taken them and the cost.

In his first year in office, I believe I counted more than 10 trips. Some were just extra-long weekends but they were across the country and around the world and never cheap.

Some trips, like the Christmas vacation to the Aga Khan’s private island cost hundreds of thousands just for the security and auxiliary costs related to keeping the PM operational wherever he goes.

That’s my issue with him taking this vacation at a cottage.

Aren’t we as taxpayers in the middle of an $8.6 million renovation of the cottage on the private lake that we keep for him at great expense?

And it’s not like Trudeau would have to live through the renos, the National Capital Commission, which oversees the property, moved the Caretaker’s Cottage to the lake so the family could stay there as the old cottage was worked on. Don’t feel too bad about the Trudeau’s slumming it, the Caretaker’s Cottage is a five-bedroom house that comes in just below 5,000 square feet.

They have a whole lake to go boating on, water skiing, fishing – and the fishing is good I am told. There is a virtual fleet of watercraft of all sorts at the disposal of the family and their guests and there is still plenty of room for guests.

Harrington Lake is completely secured with RCMP posts, video cameras, motion sensors and more to even pick up people trying to make their way to the property through the woods. None of that exists where he is staying now and is being recreated, complete with RCMP patrol boats patrolling the waters around Pointe au Baril.

So, after spending last week in Quebec at Harrington Lake, Trudeau packed up his family, his RCMP detail and who knows who else and moved to the shores of Georgian Bay in Ontario.

All paid for by you and the millions of Canadians living off of the $2,000 per month CERB payment.

It must be grand to be a Trudeau.

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