Prime Minister Trudeau is routinely offered portraits of himself as gifts: analysis

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been offered the gift of his own likeness some 17 times since becoming prime minister, including once by the president of China.

The portraits, along with a myriad of vases and wine bottles and Star Wars paraphernalia, are among the more than 400 gifts — each worth more than $200 — that Trudeau has declared to the federal ethics commissioner since late 2015.

An analysis of the listings shows more than 140 gifts were offered to his spouse, Sophie, or to their kids, while 110 came from other countries’ heads of state or governments.

Of those national leaders, the King of Jordan has been the most generous, presenting 10 gifts to Trudeau ranging from a handmade leather saddle to “sculptural plant vessels” to jars of honey.

The PM has had to forfeit 20 items, including three paintings of himself, because they were worth more than $1,000, but he has reimbursed part of the costs of two gifts — a Chinese e-bike and an Inuit etching — so he can keep them.

A former chief of protocol says the gift-giving is a normal, highly orchestrated bureaucratic affair and that Canadian prime ministers would just as soon not receive any gifts because of the potential for negative attention.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 1, 2022.

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