Harry and Meghan should cover their own security costs: NDP heritage critic

OTTAWA — The NDP’s Canadian-heritage critic says he believes Prince Harry and his family should pay for their own security while they’re in Canada.

Alexandre Boulerice, who is also deputy leader of the party, says he questions whether Canadians would welcome the idea of taxpayers in this country paying for security to protect the English royals.

That’s why he says he doesn’t support it and plans to send a message to the Liberal government that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex should cover their own costs.

The prince, his wife Meghan and their eight-month-old son Archie are reportedly staying at a mansion north of Victoria, having “stepped back” from royal duties.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau refused to say who would be pick up the tab for protecting the couple.

Trudeau said only that discussions on the matter were ongoing and that he has not spoken to the Queen about it.

“If they want to come and live in Canada, they are more than welcome, but they have to fulfil their responsibility and assure their own security,” Boulerice said Wednesday in Ottawa.

But NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says he hasn’t made up his own mind yet on what Canada’s financial role should be, noting the likelihood of a need that may arise to protect not only the Duke and Duchess of Sussex but also the Canadian public that surround them.

That’s why Singh says he wants to hear from security experts before he takes a position on royal protection costs.

“With anyone that comes to the country there will be an assessment about how to best respond to, maybe, massive crowds for people who are very popular … the appropriate steps taken for that to make sure communities (are) safe,” Singh said.

“I’m sure there will be experts that make an evaluation. I want to hear what their decisions are or what their advice is.”

Buckingham Palace announced last Saturday that the prince and his wife will give up public funding and try to become financially independent.

While they have been spending time in British Columbia, it remains unclear where in Canada they will eventually settle.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2020.

Teresa Wright, The Canadian Press

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