Since last November Canada has been providing security to Prince Harry and Meghan via the RCMP, however Public Safety Canada has confirmed that Canadians will no longer have to pay for the couple’s security bills after March.
Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said the Canadian government will quit covering the costs “in the coming weeks” as Prince Harry and Meghan will officially cease their duties as active members of the Royal Family on March 31.
A statement to CBC News, Thursday morning read, “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex choosing to relocate to Canada on a part-time basis presented our government with a unique and unprecedented set of circumstances. The RCMP has been engaged with officials in the UK from the very beginning regarding security considerations.
“As the Duke and Duchess are currently recognized as Internationally Protected Persons, Canada has an obligation to provide security assistance on an as-needed basis. At the request of the Metropolitan Police, the RCMP has been providing assistance to the Met since the arrival of the Duke and Duchess to Canada intermittently since November 2019. The assistance will cease in the coming weeks, in keeping with their change in status.”
Previously when asked about whether or not Canadians would be footing the bill Trudeau was vague in his response with Global TV back in January, saying, “We haven’t, up until this point, not in any real way. But there will be many discussions to come on how that works … that will go about between officials at different levels,” he told Global TV.
When asked about it again a week later at the Lieberal’s cabinet retreat in Winnipeg Trudeau replied: “I have not spoken to her majesty directly…. Discussions continue to be ongoing and I have no updates at this moment.”
Trudeau touched on the subject again while on a trip to Ethiopia in February, saying, “I don’t comment on operational details, but there are long-standing protocols in place that are being followed.”
The British government will now be responsible for the security of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex although just what that might look like is still largely unknown.
The news will come to many Canadians as a relief. A poll by the Angus Reid Institute found that only one in five Canadians believed that the couple’s security would be an appropriate use of taxpayer money. Such a decision would likely save Trudeau a great deal of public backlash.
A petition drawn up by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation was brought to the Prime Minister’s Office with 80,000 signatures on it insisting that Canadian taxpayer money not be given to them.