Conservatives Cut $1.3 Million from Royal Visit Budget
2012 commemorates the 60th anniversary of the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. While the Conservatives have displayed a great level of support and allegiance for the monarchy – Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton accepted Stephen Harper’s invitation to tour Canada last year on their first official royal trip as a married couple – they’re not interested in footing mega bills for future visits.
So, in an effort to rein in spending, new documents show that the cost-conscious Conservatives are trimming the royal budget. “In January 2011, your office reviewed the cost estimate for the Diamond Jubilee framework and asked that it be reduced from $8.8-million to $7.5-million,” says a briefing note to Heritage Minister James Moore. A representative of Mr. Moore states: “We’re proud of our investment. It was arrived at with consultation, care and above all else, respect for taxpayers.”
The scaled-back spending of $7.5-million on celebrations still includes $2-million for events in the Queen’s honour, and $3.7-million for 60,000 special medals for civic-minded Canadians. The Department of Canadian Heritage has also ordered more than half a million Diamond Jubilee flags, while a Canadian Forces regiment had a brooch encrusted with 60 diamonds made specially for the Queen, despite the fact Her Majesty will not be touring Canada this time around; Prince Charles and Camilla will visit as part of a worldwide royal blitz during the Diamond Jubilee year.
Minister Moore writes in a message to the nation, “I invite Canadians to participate in Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, as we mark another important anniversary that reminds us not just of where we have come from, but also of who we are and the prosperous future that lays ahead for Canada.”