Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canada's Party for Trump: Poutine, Salmon, and a Reduced Bill for Taxpayers

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canada's Party for Trump: Poutine, Salmon, and a Reduced Bill for Taxpayers

Article excerpt

Canadian embassy throws US inauguration party

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WASHINGTON - As the Canadian government prepares its quadrennial U.S. presidential inauguration bash at its embassy on Pennsylvania Avenue, this year's menu plans include poutine, salmon, beef, tourtiere -- and a reduced bill for taxpayers.

The government hopes to have companies foot the full cost for this year's festivities, unlike in 2013, when sponsors covered three-quarters of the cost and taxpayers paid the remaining $44,096, according to documents obtained by The Canadian Press through the Access to Information Act.

Canada's event usually draws a strong turnout given the prime location as the only foreign embassy in the area, near the National Mall and right along the parade route. On Friday, Donald Trump will take the oath of office at the U.S. Capitol to become the 45th president, then pass the embassy and its string of Canadian flags en route to the White House.

Few Canadians appear inclined to celebrate this year's event, if polls are to be believed. A mere 18 per cent told an Angus Reid survey in November that they were somewhat or very pleased with Trump's win.

So did the government have any second thoughts about hosting a party this year? Not for a moment, said David MacNaughton, Canada's ambassador to the U.S.

"We'd be crazy not to use the assets we have here -- of being the only embassy between the Capitol and the White House," MacNaughton said in an interview.

"It is a fantastic asset for the people of Canada. We would be nuts not to use it to continue to build our contacts and our relationships with the government in the United States, at all levels ... regardless of who the president of the United States is."

Members of Congress and some governors are likely to drop by, he added. Trump adviser Newt Gingrich has made an appearance in the past.

"For those who would criticize, I can't imagine what the reaction would be if we said, 'Oh, we're actually not going to use this asset that the people of Canada have paid for, to help promote Canada,'" MacNaughton said. …

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