Canadian taxpayers were billed $41,545 to study whether an abandoned and dilapidated barn located at the traditional cottage getaway of the prime minister, Harrington Lake, was worth restoring.
Exclusive documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) reveal that the National Capital Commission (NCC) paid the sum for preliminary studies 2019.
An additional $25,000 is required to restore the abandoned building which the NCC, who is in charge of the property, hopes to use for maintenance storage purposes.
“Due to a persistent lack of adequate funding, the building has reached such a state of disrepair that it became unsafe for staff to access for several years,” the NCC told the CTF.
According to reports, the building contains black mould, lead paint, animal feces and several broken windows.
“Only a handful of Canadians will ever see this building. Paying to actually fix it is bad enough, but charging taxpayers more than $40,000 just to study fixing it is even worse. The government needs to sell the extravagant Harrington Lake retreat and be done with it,” said CTF’s BC Director Kris Sims.
“More than 40% of Canadians are $200 away from insolvency each month, leaving them unable to pay all of their bills. Yet taxpayers should care that the storage sheds at the prime minister’s cottage aren’t pretty enough? Seriously?”
In 2020, it was revealed that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had a $2.5 million mansion erected as a temporary residence for himself and guests on the property while the main building underwent an extensive $6.1 million restoration project.
“The NCC has asked the Prime Minister to use the Farmhouse temporarily, pending completion of renovations at the main cottage. Once these renovations are complete, the Farmhouse will serve as a guest house,” said NCC spokesperson Jean Wolff at the time.
In total, the restoration project is expected to cost taxpayers up to $17.8 million.