Canada's new Defence Minister is a Sikh AFG Veteran

#62
Can't agree with you on the Maritimes. Of the people I liked best while in the military, the downhomers were in the majority, they'd give you the shirt off their back.
They might give you the shirt, but chances are ei paid for it. Oldest son spends a lot of time in NB and is amazed at how many people know exactly how many weeks they need to work before they can claim
 
#63
Slightly on topic here but, am I the only one sick already of the gushing over Minister Sajjan and his Sikhness and Military Service? Can we please dispense with the bad pun headlines and topic starters?

The Turbannator, Turban Warfare, Sikh and Destroy..

c'mon.. next there will be a Canuck subthread in the Naafi to come up with lists of bad reference puns.. which will probably rival the Fart/Movie Reference Thread.
 
#64
And he is till saying no thank you. To be fair, seems like the place needs to be bull dozed and new one built.

Justin Trudeau’s Official Home: Unfit for a Leader or Anyone Else
IAN AUSTEN NOVEMBER 15, 2018


When Justin Trudeau became prime minister of Canada three years ago, he took a pass on moving his family into the official residence at 24 Sussex Drive in Ottawa. Dave Chan for The New York Times

OTTAWA — At Canada’s official residence for its prime minister, security cameras keep silent watch over the fences, visitors pass through gates that can block truck bombs and a detail of uniformed Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers patrol day and night.

But the prime minister himself is unlikely to be found inside.

When Justin Trudeau became prime minister three years ago, he took a pass on moving his family into the official residence at 24 Sussex Drive, built in 1868 by an American-born lumber baron. Decades of neglect had turned Canada’s top political address into its most famous home renovation project.

But no recent prime ministers have been willing to commit the tens of millions of dollars it would take to make the stone house habitable again. It would look as if they were spending money on themselves, a politically toxic step in Canada.

Mr. Trudeau, 46, who lived at 24 Sussex as a child when his father was prime minister, is no exception.

“No prime minister wants to spend a penny of taxpayer dollars on upkeeping that house,” Mr. Trudeau told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation earlier this year.

There was little criticism of Mr. Trudeau’s decision to live with his wife and their three children in Rideau Cottage, a relatively modest, two-story red brick house behind Rideau Hall, the house of Canada’s governor general who fulfills Queen Elizabeth II’s duties as head of state.

That’s because the official residence’s deteriorating condition is no secret to Canadians, with government reports documenting its decline for more than a decade.


The living room of the official residence in 2004. More than a decade of neglect has since turned Canada’s top political address into its most famous home renovation project.

Those reports make grim reading for anyone but a contractor hoping to land the renovation job.

“The building systems at 24 Sussex have reached the point of imminent or actual failure,” one report, by the National Capital Commission, the federal agency that manages official residences, found this year. It rated the residence’s condition as “critical.”

Its wiring, according to the report, has become a fire hazard; the boiler is obsolete; the exterior stonework is crumbling; and the plumbing blocks up regularly.

The building by a pool added by Mr. Trudeau’s father is “rotting,” the report said, and air-conditioning comes from inefficient window units that could make it easy for intruders to slip in. Many of those windows need replacement anyway. Everywhere there is asbestos.

On top of all that, the house is ill-suited for official functions. Among the house’s many deficiencies, “the dining room is at the same time too large for a family and too small for state dinners,” the report said.

The current cost estimate to deal with everything (excluding security upgrades): 38 million Canadian dollars, or $28.7 million.

By Canadian standards that is a vast amount of money for a single-family house — even after accounting for its exceptional views over the Ottawa River. And it has prompted something of a national debate over the fate of the current building and the role of the prime minister’s house in Canada.

For much of Canada’s history, prime ministers had no official place to call home.

Sir John A. Macdonald, the first prime minister, lived a few doors downfrom 24 Sussex in a house now used by Britain’s diplomatic representative to Canada.

R.B. Bennett, a millionaire who was the Conservative prime minister during the height of the Great Depression, kept a 5,000-square-foot suite in the Château Laurier, a hotel adjacent to Parliament.

Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau in 1977 with his wife, Margaret, and their sons, Justin, Michel and Alexandre, at 24 Sussex Drive.

The federal government moved to expropriate 24 Sussex in 1943, when it was the last private residence on the street, otherwise occupied by embassies, government buildings and parks.

After years of legal wrangling, Louis St. Laurent, a Liberal, reluctantly moved into 24 Sussex in 1951 on the condition that he pay rent to minimize any hint he was freeloading.

Despite its condition and space limitations, prime ministers have regularly held important meetings and entertained at 24 Sussex, with larger parties often taking place on its expansive lawn.

Formal dinners for visiting heads of state are held at the more spacious Rideau Hall. But Mr. Trudeau has recalled rushing home from school as a child to meet Queen Elizabeth II for lunch at 24 Sussex when she visited Canada.

Proponents for fixing up the house, regardless of cost, are a mixed group. The host of one Canadian home renovation program suggested making its remodeling into a reality television show.

Paul Martin, a Liberal who was prime minister from 2003 to 2006, said the role of 24 Sussex in Canada’s history merits its preservation.

“It is an important Canadian icon,” said Mr. Martin. “I do have affection for the house.”

But Mr. Martin added that his wife, Sheila, who spent more time at 24 Sussex than he did, has less fond memories. “Her view is that the house had to be renovated from the bottom up,” he said.

Canada’s only female prime minister, Kim Campbell, who held the office for four months in 1993, suggests knocking it down.

Because government reports had documented the decline of 24 Sussex, there was little criticism of Mr. Trudeau’s decision not to live there.

Her view is held by other Canadians who say building an entirely new house would be cheaper than fixing up the old one. Supporters of designing a new home see a chance to showcase Canadian architecture and to highlight its indigenous heritage in a building that could also set a bar for environmental standards.

“Is this not an opportunity for Canada to say something different?” asked David Lieberman, an associate professor of architecture at the University of Toronto. By opting to update the current residence, “we would be preserving a nostalgic past, a colonial past,” he said.

Recent events have highlighted just how contentious any government spending on the prime minister’s home life can be.

In Parliament this spring, the opposition Conservatives pounced on a government estimate that it cost 1,500 Canadian dollars, or about $1,100, to use government workers to assemble a new play structure for Mr. Trudeau’s children at the prime minister’s official country house, in a park north of Ottawa. (Mr. Trudeau paid the $5,600 for the structure itself out of his own pocket.)

In 1971, the government stopped charging the prime minister rent for lodging, but Mr. Trudeau pays for his food, internet service and a caregiver for his children.

Because the kitchen at Rideau Cottage is meant for a family, not a team of cooks, the kitchen staff for the prime minister still works at the official residence, and the Trudeau family’s meals are driven across the street from 24 Sussex, a practice that has aroused indignation from the Conservatives (whose own party leader lives in an official residence reserved for the head of the opposition).

Mr. Martin, the former prime minister, said the best solution to the 24 Sussex problem would be for Mr. Trudeau to turn over all the decisions about its future to a group of nonpartisan experts.

Still, he welcomed Canadians’ stinginess when it comes to spending money on their politicians.

“I think it’s a good thing,” he said. “When you take a look at the ethical problems that occur around the world, I think the facts that this is something that a Canadian politician would shy away from is really a sign that Canadians do have their ethical priorities in shape.”
 

Similar threads


Latest Threads

Top