Trudeau Takes Heat for Celebrating Wedding Anniversary During Important Japan Trip

There was no official business today for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

That’s because he and his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, were busy celebrating their 11-year wedding anniversary during an otherwise professional trip to Japan. The couple set today aside from the five-day excursion to enjoy a little pampering in the name of love and also hit up a luxurious country inn.

Trudeau said the decision to do so reflected a healthy marriage when it comes to maintaining a sustainable work-life balance. “This is the kind of work-life balance that I’ve often talked about as being essential in order to be able to be in service of the country with all one’s very best, and that’s certainly something I’m going to continue to make sure we do,” he told reporters in Tokyo.

It’s difficult enough to have quality time with your spouse when you have one child – let alone three. Add being the Prime Minister on top of it, and it’s safe to assume that Justin and Sophie aren’t having many date nights on the regular.

While many social media chimers applaud Trudeau on highlighting the importance of marriage, not everyone is so happy about it.

“I’ll see your hubbub about nannies and extra help & raise you an anniversary abroad. Bold,” tweeted Andrew MacDougall, a well-known former director of communications for Stephen Harper.

Much like they did when they found out that Sophie was “overwhelmed” and needed a second assistant, many criticized the decision to take a break right in the middle of one of Trudeau’s most important foreign trips. In addition to meetings with auto executives and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Trudeau will be in Ise-Shima, about 300 kilometres southwest of Tokyo, for the two-day G7 leaders summit. He then flies back to Canada on Friday.

With such a tight schedule, some wonder why the anniversary celebrations couldn’t wait until the trip was over (the actual date isn’t until Saturday). A poll by Maclean’s asked readers, “Have you ever taken a day off to celebrate your wedding anniversary?” At time of writing, 62.5 per cent of respondents said no. In Trudeau’s defence, he already has plans: the PM is scheduled to address the federal Liberal party convention in Winnipeg on Saturday.

As for the couple’s day of pampering, Trudeau assures taxpayers that it will be on his dime.

In other Trudeau news, if you’re in need of a little LOL session at your desk, check out John Oliver take on #Elbowgate.