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The residence of the Prime Minister of Canada is rat infested and rotten. Nobody knows what to do.

In the Canadian capital of Ottawa, the fate of 24 Sussex is both a running joke and a national embarrassment. There is general agreement that something needs to be done, but there is no agreement on what that thing should be. Some say the mansion should be restored as a symbol of the country’s political heritage. Others say the exorbitant cost of a proper renovation and limited heritage value mean it makes more sense to demolish everything and start from scratch.

Radio-Canada, the French-language arm of Canada’s public broadcaster, reported over the summer that the federal government was finally ready to rip the band-aid off and abandon 24 Sussex.

Anonymous sources told Radio-Canada that the government is considering several options for further excavations, including an isolated plot of land in a nearby park that straddles the Ottawa River, another site where the Royal Canadian Mounted Police organizes rides iconic musical venues and the Rideau Cottage. building – a government-owned residence located on the vast grounds of the Governor General’s estate, where Trudeau has lived since 2015.

A local nonprofit, Historic Ottawa Development Inc., opposes such a move, arguing that rehabilitation estimates for 24 Sussex, generated by consultants for public officials, are greatly exaggerated.

The debate continues, forever and ever.

No final decision has been made, because for decades a series of Liberal and Conservative prime ministers have been unwilling to bear the political cost of investing millions of dollars in their personal digs. So 24 Sussex sits there and rots while successive governments look the other way. It is, one might say, the symbol of a nation that abhors ostentatious displays of nationalism and power. Or, less charitably, it is symptomatic of a populist tendency to condemn any government spending that might prove that Canada’s elected leaders are out of touch with reality.

Regardless, there are dead rodents in the walls of 24 Sussex Drive, and they’ve been met with nothing more than a collective shrug.


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