Should taxpayers have to pay for Prince Charles’ Canadian tour?

Andy Radia
Canada Politics
January 16, 2014

The royals coming, the royals are coming!

Governor General David Johnston announced, on Thursday, that Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, will be visiting Canada this May with stops in Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Price Edward Island.

A statement released by the prime minister's office notes that the visit is in response to an invitation by the Government of Canada.

"I am pleased that Their Royal Highnesses will be joining us in a few months time as Canada enters a five-year period of significant national celebrations, beginning with the centennial of the outbreak of the Great War and the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown and Québec City Conferences, which led to the creation of the Dominion of Canada," said the Prime Minister.

"Canadians look forward to having Their Royal Highnesses with us for these and other important moments in the history of our country."

While most Canadians are probably thankful for the visit, an anti-monarchy group is concerned about the cost of the visit to taxpayers.

"We welcome royal visits due to the increased public interest in the monarchy/republic debate that they generate," Tom Freda, of the Citizens for a Canadian Republic (CCR), told Yahoo Canada News in an email exchange.

"However, while we recognize that the reasonable cost of visits by the Queen and Prince Phillip should be paid for by Canadians, we are absolutely against paying for her other family members.

"As you know, even our prime minister's and governor general's children and grandchildren do not get taxpayer-funded travel expenses in Canada. We don't believe the Queen's should either."

[ Related: Prince Charles, Camilla to visit Manitoba, Nova Scotia, P.E.I. in May ]

As explained by CBC News, Charles has been a regular visitor to Canada. He made seven visits between the 1980 and 2001 and then two visits -- in 2009 and 2012 -- with his wife Camilla.

This will be the fifth royal visit in six years.

The trips aren't a bargain for Canadian taxpayers.

According to the Globe and Mail, Charles and Camilla's 2009 visit cost taxpayers $1.7 million, Queen Elizabeth's 2010 visit cost $2.8 million and Prince William and Kate's 2011 tour cost $1.2 million. Those figures do not include cost of security or any costs borne by the provinces.

[ More Politics: Tories, NDP slam Justin Trudeau for $840 in inappropriate expense claims ]

What do you think?

Regardless of whether you are a monarchist or a republican, should Canadian taxpayers be forced to foot the bill for visits by the Queen's children and grandchildren?

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

(Photo courtesy of the Canadian Press)

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