During the pandemic, Canadians sent Prime Minister Justin Trudeau masks, socks, books, chocolates and even toilet paper with Donald Trump’s face on it. This gift – from a Holy Bible to a drawing of Trudeau as Superman – continued as the Prime Minister prepares to celebrate Christmas and his 50th birthday on December 25.
According to documents released under the Access to Information Act, fans from across Canada and beyond have sent Trudeau signs of their affection.
“Dear Mr. Trudeau, I know your comic is December 25th – by the way, please read and reply to my email,” wrote one person, whose name is withheld due to privacy law. private life. “Thank you very much – for being such a nice person to everyone. God bless you. ”The note was attached to a cloth bag containing a teddy brown bear with a birthday hat and a basket of assorted chocolates.
Between October 19, 2019 and July 23, 2020, Trudeau received more than 305 gifts. They include:
- At least 86 masks. While most were reusable and hand-sewn, one person sent a box of N95.
- 57 lbs. Titles ranged from “Understanding First Nations: The Legacy of Canadian Colonialism” to “Canada’s Economy” and “Seven Weeks at a Transformed Marriage. “
- 10 works of art. A luminous painting of Parliament, three drawings by Trudeau and a series of paintings focusing on Indigenous men in prison.
- 2 t-shirts. The slogans: “Diversity breathes here” and “Flatten the curve”.
- 2 containers of “Speaking Moistly” lip balm.
- 1 “Star Wars” Stormtrooper figure.
- 1 box of vinyl gloves. (Open, size large.)
One person sent Trudeau a “humble gift” of his writings. “I hope my simple words bring some comfort in these troubled times and I wish you well,” the person wrote. Their package bore the United States postmark.
Almost a third of the 155 pages listing the giveaways were blacked out, and it took nearly a year for them to be disclosed, an example of the massive backlog plaguing the Freedom of Information service.
The Privy Council Office, which processes most of the gifts sent to the prime minister, said they are all checked by security and “where possible” all donors receive thank you letters. Spokesman Pierre-Alain Bujold said some of the gifts are kept or stored, while others are given or confiscated.
The Prime Minister, members of Parliament and other public office holders are prohibited from accepting gifts that could “reasonably be perceived as having been given to influence them,” said Jocelyne Brisebois, spokesperson for the French Conflict Commission. interests and ethics.
Under the Ethics Commissioner’s rules, anything Trudeau accepts that is worth more than $ 200 must be declared publicly, and anything worth more than $ 1,000 must be forfeited to the Crown.
The National Capital Commission (NCC) takes care of these objects and sends them to various federal institutions: cards and medals at Library and Archives Canada, sculptures and silverware at the National Gallery of Canada, Aboriginal art and textiles at the Museum. Canadian history. The NCC keeps some paintings and decorative objects to decorate the official residences.
Trudeau recently lost a Salvatore Ferragamo leather briefcase (approximate retail price: $ 2,000) donated by Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi during the G20 leaders’ summit in Rome in October.
He also lost a handmade gold Arab cloak and a framed portrait of himself painted on goatskin.
This week, the Prime Minister’s Office said it is keeping a pair of Randolph aviator sunglasses and a Shinola Detroit watch donated by US President Joe Biden at last month’s North American leaders’ summit in Washington.
Some of the 33 gifts the Prime Minister has kept over the past two years also include:
- A Pendleton blanket donated by Assembly of First Nations National Chief Rosanne Casimir during a visit to the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Nation in Kamloops, British Columbia, apparently to mark her son’s birthday .
- Belgian wines, a Rogelli cycling jersey and bib shorts from the Belgian Prime Minister.
- RM Williams leather boots, gift from the Prime Minister of Australia.
- Prime Minister of Mauritius Patrick Mavros sterling silver teaspoons.
- Christofle silver metal photo frames of the General Manager of the Sheraton Kuwait Hotel.
Sophie Trudeau kept handmade ceramic birds representing her children from an artist in Aurora, Ontario; as well as several Canadian products – Nassani cosmetics, a few JB Skin Guru Le Masque, Rose Buddha yoga clothes and a jacket from Harly Jae Apparel – which were given to her by the business owners.
Last Christmas, the Trudeaus received several gifts, including: a Bountiful goose down duvet and cover set from the CEO of ACE Textile; handcrafted wooden and ceramic boxes of the King and Queen of Jordan; five muskox and alpaca fiber dolls from the president of the Qiviuk boutique at the Fairmont in Banff; and a Faye Dinsmore lambswool blanket by Irish entrepreneur Paddy Cosgrave.
As the number of giveaways declined during the pandemic, one official said there was usually a spike around the holidays and her birthday.
Trudeau spokeswoman Ann-Clara Vaillancourt said the Prime Minister kept several pairs of socks received from Canadians. “Her kids like them too (so much so that some mysteriously disappear from her sock drawer),” she wrote in an email.
Instead of sending gifts, she said, Trudeau and his family would like to encourage Canadians “to send this goodwill to charities in their communities.”
It was not known if he was keeping Trump toilet paper.
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