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King’s coronation cost taxpayers $534,000 and counting

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From the Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Author: Franco Terrazzano

Trudeau’s troupe spent $305,188 on accommodations at the Edwardian Pastoria Hotels Ltd., a high-end luxury hotel chain in London. They also spent $45,760 at the Great Scotland Yard Hotel and $15,881 at the Southampton Row Hotel.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Canadian delegation to King Charles III’s coronation racked up $534,675 in expenses during the three-day trip.

Final costs are expected to rise even higher as expenses are still being processed, according to access-to-information records obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

“The King’s coronation is a big event, but that doesn’t mean taxpayers should be paying half-a-million dollars so more than 100 people can travel to England,” said Franco Terrazzano, CTF Federal Director. “It seems like this government goes out of its way to bring along as many people as possible and to stay in the fanciest hotels.”

Canada’s delegation was 102 people strong – including 87 travelling with Trudeau and 15 travelling with Governor General Mary Simon. That means the cost per traveller was $5,241 for the three-day trip.

Trudeau’s troupe spent $305,188 on accommodations at the Edwardian Pastoria Hotels Ltd., a high-end luxury hotel chain in London. They also spent $45,760 at the Great Scotland Yard Hotel and $15,881 at the Southampton Row Hotel.

Simon and her entourage spent $155,283 on rooms at the London & Regional hotel.

Bureaucrats bought $300 worth of wine and beer for the flights to London, then spent $555 at “Majestic Wine London” upon arrival, according to the records.

“Did taxpayers really need to pay for 102 people to travel to England, and did they each need to rack up an average bill of $5,000?” Terrazzano said. “And if bureaucrats want to delete a couple cold ones, they’re paid more than enough money to pick up the tab themselves.”

King Charles III acceded to the throne Sept. 8, 2022, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. His coronation was held at Westminster Abbey May 6, 2023.

In addition to Trudeau and Simon, the Canadian delegation included various bureaucrats, several Indigenous leaders, a handful of youth leaders and astronauts Jennifer Sidey-Gibbons and Jeremy Hanson, among others.

Canada also sent a sizeable delegation to Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral in September 2022, racking up nearly $400,000 in hotel costs alone.

Included among those costs was a $6,000-per-night luxury suite at the Corinthia Hotel, which came with a marble bathroom and “complimentary butler service.”

After bureaucrats refused to disclose who had stayed in the River Suite, the CTF filed an access-to-information request. In response, the government released the records, but redacted the name.

The CTF then launched a legal challenge to force the government to disclose who stayed in the suite.

Trudeau finally admitted he stayed in the $6,000 per-night luxury suite during President Joe Biden’s visit to Canada in March 2023.

Documents obtained by the Toronto Sun in February revealed that federal bureaucrats were worried about the cost of hotels for the King’s coronation in the aftermath of the earlier scandal over the $6,000-per-night luxury suite.

Writing to a bureaucrat at Global Affairs Canada, Davon Singh, Director of the Executive Office & Head of Visits at Canada’s High Commission in London, wondered if the size of the Canadian delegation should be reduced to save on costs.

“Should we look into reduced numbers or stick with the amount you’ve currently sent us?” Singh wrote.

“I think we should keep our current numbers,” read the response from the Visits Coordinator for Global Affairs Canada.

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Alberta

Edmonton triples venture capital investment in 2023

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Alberta’s tech sector continues its strong momentum, with Edmonton seeing its strongest growth ever, proof Alberta remains a hot tech market.

As global and national investment have declined, Alberta has remained a strong tech market and is showing continued leadership, as shown by Pitchbook ranking Calgary as the 12th fastest-growing tech ecosystem in the world and LinkedIn ranking Calgary as one of the best places to hire and recruit tech workers.

At the end of 2023, Alberta’s five-year growth rate for venture capital dollars invested reached an impressive 48.5 per cent, more than triple Canada’s compounded average growth rate of 13 per cent, according to the 2023 Canadian Venture Capital Private Equity Association fourth-quarter report.

The province’s growth rate means Alberta finished 2023 with $707 million invested over 86 deals, in line with Alberta’s 2022 record-breaking year. In contrast, Canada ended the year with a 31 per cent decline in investments. Over the past five years, Alberta technology companies have secured more than $2.7 billion in venture capital funding across 350 deals, creating thousands of jobs for Albertans.

“While Canada as a whole saw massive declines, Alberta has held steady. We are a major venture capital player in Canada, as technology drives growth across all sectors.”

Nate Glubish, Minister of Technology and Innovation

Alberta’s two largest cities continued to attract investment dollars in 2023, with Calgary and Edmonton coming in fourth and fifth respectively for number of deals, with $501 million invested in 64 deals in Calgary and $188 million invested in 21 deals in Edmonton. Edmonton saw a 324 per cent increase from $58 million in 2022 to $188 million in 2023. In total, Alberta captured 10.3 per cent of dollars invested in 2023 and 13 per cent of venture capital deals in Canada.

“Edmonton’s tripling of venture capital investment in 2023 underscores our city’s position as a dynamic tech capital within Alberta’s thriving innovation ecosystem, reaffirming our role as a powerhouse driving technological advancement and economic prosperity across diverse sectors. It is the local innovators’ relentless pursuit of solutions to real-world problems, with the continuing support of the Government of Alberta, which not only attracts significant investment but also propels our city to the forefront of Alberta’s tech revolution and fosters job creation for our community.”

Launa Aspeslet, interim chief executive officer, Edmonton Unlimited

“At Platform Calgary we are working with our partners to continue this momentum by linking up high potential tech startups with the investors that can help them take their businesses to the next level. The evidence is clear, Alberta is emerging as one of the most exciting and resilient tech ecosystems in the world. Together with our growing tech community, we can secure Alberta’s position as the best place in the world for anyone to launch and grow a tech business.”

Terry Rock, president and chief executive officer, Platform Calgary 

Alberta remains a growing market for the technology and innovation sector, and Alberta’s government celebrates its steady contribution to the Alberta economy, including in the fourth quarter of 2023. The end of last year saw venture capital investments in the province increase by 35 per cent for dollars invested and 19 per cent for deals closed compared with the third quarter. There were 25 deals closed valued at a combined $173 million in the fourth quarter of 2023.

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Economy

Taxpayer watchdog slams Trudeau gov’t for increasing debt ceiling: ‘Put down the credit card’

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From LifeSiteNews

By Anthony Murdoch

Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland authorized an additional $73 billion in borrowing this fiscal year.

After Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland gave herself and the government the authority to borrow an additional $73 billion this fiscal year, the head of the nation’s leading taxpayer watchdog group said the federal government needs to “put down the credit card” and return to common-sense spending.

Freeland, as per a February 15 cabinet order made under the Financial Administration Act, allowed the extra borrowing to take place.

The government has set “$517 billion to be the maximum aggregate principal amount of money that may be borrowed” before April 1. Before this cabinet order, however, the maximum amount was $444 billion.

Despite Freeland claiming that the increase in borrowing is “in no way a blank cheque,” Canadian Taxpayers Federation federal director Franco Terrazzano said the borrowing needs to end.

“The Trudeau government needs to put down the credit card and pick up some scissors,” Terrazzano told LifeSiteNews.

“The government should be cutting spending and balancing the budget, not racking up more debt for years to come.”

In 2021, Canada’s Parliament raised the federal debt borrowing amount by a whopping 56% under the Borrowing Authority Act. The amount went from $1.168 trillion to $1.831 trillion.

“What it does is set a ceiling for how much the government can spend,” Freeland said at the time.

Terrazzano told LifeSiteNews that the Trudeau government should be cutting spending and balancing the budget, not racking up more debt for years to come.

Terrazzano observed that in the coming year the Trudeau government will be spending “more money on debt interest charges than it sends to the provinces in health transfers.”

“In a handful of years, every penny collected from the GST (Goods and Service Tax) will go toward paying interest on the debt,” he noted.

Under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, due to excessive COVID money printing, inflation has skyrocketed.

Last month, LifeSiteNews reported that fast-rising food costs in Canada have led to many people feeling a sense of “hopelessness and desperation” with nowhere to turn for help, according to the Canadian government’s own National Advisory Council on Poverty.

Last year, the Bank of Canada acknowledged that Trudeau’s federal “climate change” programs, which have been deemed “extreme” by some provincial leaders, are indeed helping to fuel inflation.

Terrazzano told LifeSiteNews that Trudeau should “completely scrap his carbon tax,” which is making everything more expensive.

Conservatives blast increased debt

Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) MPs have been critical of the raised debt ceiling. “You’re simply saying, ‘Give me a blank cheque and then trust me,’” MP Ed Fast said.

Freeland claimed that the “characterization of the borrowing authority limit as a blank cheque is simply false.”

CPC leader Pierre Poilievre recently asked, “Is there a dollar figure to which she would limit the debt?”

She replied that the government is “mindful that limits exist.”

During a February 13 Senate national finance committee meeting, Budget Officer Yves Giroux noted how Trudeau’s cabinet plans in terms of spending are not clear.

“We don’t know exactly what the government plans on spending or doing in terms of new spending or potential spending,” he said when asked by Senator Elizabeth Marshall if the new borrowing limits are “still realistic.”

Marshall added, “As it stands now, do you think it looks reasonable?”

“It looks sufficient, but the government always wants to give itself some room to maneuver in case there are unforeseen events that require borrowing on short notice,” Giroux replied.

A report from September 5, 2023, by Statistics Canada shows food prices are rising faster than headline inflation at a rate of between 10% and 18% per year.

According to a recent Statistics Canada survey of supermarket prices, Canadians are paying 12% more for carrots, 14% more for hamburger (ground meat), and 27% more for baby formula.

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