Michaels: Is the royal visit to Kelowna worth the cost to tax payers?

We all could use a fairy tale, and maybe when I get close enough to the royal couple all of these questions will be forgotten.

Prince George is a real doll, isn’t he?

Chubby cheeks, thick arms and legs, wavy hair and a whole lot of attitude — he’s a royal I’m sure we’ll all enjoy watching as he grows into a king. And his dad and  mum aren’t slouches either— squint your eyes and shake your head, they look like a modern day fairy tale with remarkably similar tastes for wedding garb to Cinderella and Prince Charming.

I thoroughly enjoy clicking through pictures of them doing things that royals do across the pond, as they say. Dressing well, being trotted around in carriages and waving very slowly are a few of their best tricks, if I had to come up with a list.

Of course, these slow wavers are Canadian royalty also, so they are obligated to come here from time to time.

And, in case you forgot, Canadians have to pay for that. What follows is the breakdown Heritage Canada gave me on who pays for what.

“The Government of Canada pays for the costs of its events.

The Governments of British Columbia and Yukon pay for the costs of their events.  Cost sharing agreements are worked out between the Government of Canada, the province of British Columbia and the Yukon territory for other costs.

And security costs are the responsibility of the RCMP and local police forces.”

What wasn’t said in that very succinct paragraph from the government agency, is that the tax payers foot the bill for all of these bodies of government to have their events. Nor was there an estimated dollar value offered up.

Despite my fondness for the royal couple set to arrive in the Okanagan, I can’t help but dwell on dollars and I came across some disturbing information while doing so.

When Charles, the Prince of Wales, and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, toured  Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Manitoba May 18 to 22 2014 the price to taxpayers was a minimum of $721,620.

The cost breakdown doesn’t include RCMP or other agents tasked with providing security for the royal couple.

Translated to the bank account of Kathy Michaels, this royal Canadian mini break will cost the tax payers as much as I will earn in the next 16 years.

So I can’t, as other local news organizations have suggested with articles about visit decorum, think about the appropriate way to smile and dress when the royals roll through town.

This family, with a history rife with incest and violence, are the original one per cent and we should all ask ourselves how comfortable we are paying for these visits?

At the very least, we should ask if its fair that we will pay for Premier Christy Clark and her chosen guests to share a lavish meal with the royal couple at Mission Hill— clearly the closest thing the Okanagan has to a castle with a moat— while the rest of us are relegated to a small event at the difficult to reach university.

Also does an invitation-only volleyball game likely to ring up a security bill thousands of dollars deep seem like a good use of public dollars?

Will it buoy the spirits of us commoners?

I don’t know. We all could use a fairy tale, and maybe when I get close enough to the royal couple all of these questions will be forgotten.

Until then I think we should remember to not be distracted by the adorable little doll and ask if we’re getting enough bang for our buck.

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