Canadian taxpayers foot the almost $30,000 (CAD) bill for first daughter Ivanka Trump and a bevy of diplomats, business executives and media representatives to see a Broadway play about Canada and the 9/11 terrorist attacks, CTV News reports.
Global Affairs Canada snapped up 600 seats — “at a significant discount” — in order for Trump and a others on New York City’s prominent list to view the celebrated (and now Tony-nominated) theatrical production of “Come From Away,” which the federal government considers “an important part of advancing and protecting Canadian interests.”
In addition to Trump, Canada bought tickets for representatives to the United Nations from Kuwait, Turkmenistan, Serbia and Qatar, among other countries. Also on the guest list was former prime minister Jean Chrétien, Global Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.
Taxpayers also furnished free tickets for a number of executives from Canadian corporations that operate in the U.S., including Air Canada, Hudson Bay Co., Roots Canada and the Bank of Montreal.
The play details how Canadians in the province of Newfound and Labrador looked after thousands of stranded airline passengers in the wake of 9/11 when air traffic was temporarily suspended.
The government describes the musical as a “story about the strong and long-lasting U.S.-Canada friendship.”
It was apparently also an opportunity for Trump and Trudeau to rekindle a friendship that had begun weeks prior when Trudeau came to Washington for a summit with President Donald Trump. Since the president’s inauguration, Trudeau has waged a charm offensive against the U.S. government, uncharacteristically praising Trump for his pro-middle class policies.
The financial information and list of attendees came as a result of an official question from Conservative Member of Parliamaent Alex Nuttall, who received his response last week when details were tabled in the House of Commons.
The government paid $22,436 USD for the tickets, or $29,391 Canadian. The dollar figure does not include the cost of travel and accommodation of sending Canadians to New York, nor the cost incurred by the Trudeau’s RCMP security detail.