On January 24th, 2013, boy wonder Justin Trudeau was wide awake at 8:30 am. He wasn’t rising with the sun in order to put some hard work into his leadership campaign, however. He was saluting the sun for an altogether different reason: early morning private yoga lessons.
According to campaign spending receipts obtained by The True North Times from Elections Canada, Trudeau had an hour-long private lesson with Vijnana yoga instructor Tracy Groshak that morning. This is but one of Trudeau’s many campaign-funded relaxation exercises. From January through to April 2013, he spent almost $500 on private yoga lessons and an additional $380 on spas and massages. No wonder he always looks so relaxed.
As you may or may not know, Canadians subsidize an array of questionable things. Whether it be the British Broadcasting Corporation’s younger, less witty cousin or even campaign finances. Yes. Canadians subsidize political parties. In the past, an upwards of 90% of campaign finances originated from public sources. These could be expense reimbursements, a per-vote subsidy, or subsidization of political contributions. When discussing the top 3 parties, these figures are in the tens of millions of dollars. Thus, Trudeau spent (mostly) public funds on his yoga lessons.
While this news might be nothing more than fuel for fantasies of a contorting, shirtless Trudeau (with all the possible implication of hot yoga), the fact that this receipt was found in a list of campaign expenses might cause some to reconsider their motivations for financially supporting Trudeau’s bid for Liberal leadership.
The 2013 campaign saw what CBC described as “an army of 10,000 volunteers” working like machines to sign up tens of thousands of Trudeau supporters, freeing up Justin’s calendar of anything that might damage his fresh mani pedi.
In the first three months of his campaign, Trudeau raised $600,000 in donations, including $125,000 donated by 1,400 individuals in the last three days of 2012. That he spent 0.15% of his budget on relaxation exercises seems rather insignificant, but the fact is that some lucky Trudeau-supporter out there paid him to reach for the sky on a more literal level than they may have anticipated. Liberal party went on to fundraise $18 million in 2013, which means that, if Trudeau maintains his proportion of relaxation activities to actual campaign expenditures, he now has the funds for $26,000 worth of private yoga lessons. That means 175 hours of downward dog.
With Conservatives constantly leveling accusations that Trudeau is “in way over his head,” it’s no wonder he needs to periodically empty said pretty head during the campaign. What better way to do so than by using donations to work out. You’ve gotta look good to feel good.
Kory Teneycke, the Prime Minister’s spokesman, told reporters that Justin Trudeau would exceed debate expectations “if he comes on stage with his pants on.” Let’s hope he shows off his tried-and-true yoga pants.
Trudeau Campaign Receipts