"I’m not middle class. I don’t pretend I am," the Prime Minister famously said. But what is Justin Trudeau's net worth? Now that the 2019 federal election is over and the real work begins (or so we hope), we look at what the political scion turned schoolteacher turned prime minister has made over the years.
As leader of Canada, Trudeau's salary adds up to $357,800 a year. That includes a base salary of $178,900 for his role as Member of Parliament for Papineau, and another $178,900 for his gig as PM. On top of that, he receives an annual $2,000 car allowance. While we can’t be sure how he spends that allowance (although a minivan would be ideal for the father of three), we do know that he still has his father Pierre Elliott Trudeau's famous Mercedes-Benz 300 SL — he even posed in it with his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau on their wedding day.
Trudeau, Grégoire Trudeau and their three children, Xavier, who turns 12 on Oct. 18, Ella-Grace, 10, and Hadrien, 5, live rent-free at Rideau Cottage, a 22-bedroom Georgian revival mansion that is maintained with public funds. The family picked this residence, which is located on the grounds of Rideau Hall where the Governor General lives, instead of 24 Sussex Drive. The latter, which was built around 1868, is the official residence of the Prime Minister, but it needs about $10 million in renos. Trudeau lived there as a child when his father Pierre was prime minister. “That's one of the reasons that that house has gone into the ground since the time I lived there — is that no prime minister wants to spend a penny of taxpayer dollars on up-keeping that house,” Trudeau has said.
Meals are cooked at 24 Sussex and delivered to the Trudeaus by a messenger employed by and paid for by the family. (It’s been reported that the messenger’s salary is about $40,000. The Trudeau children’s nanny — they had two before letting go of one in 2016 — makes around the same, but taxpayers foot that bill.) The family chef is Che Chartrand. According to the Ottawa Citizen, all his food is homemade, and snacks, desserts, and fresh breads are always on the menu. "They enjoy food, they enjoy my food, they’re excited about different flavours. And even the kids, they have great palates, they’re not afraid to try stuff," Chartrand told the Citizen. The Prime Minister’s Office has said the family reimburses some food costs.
Trudeau is accustomed to this sort of lifestyle. His family’s wealth dates back to the early 20th century. His grandfather, Charles-Émile Trudeau, owned gas stations, real estate, part of an amusement park, and part of the Montreal Royals baseball team. Justin’s father, Pierre Elliott, inherited some of his father’s money and later passed it down to Justin and his brothers, the filmmaker and journalist Alexandre (Sacha), and Michel. (Michel passed away in 1998 in an avalanche while skiing.) Trudeau has admitted that he “won the lottery” with his inheritance, which, in 2013, was estimated to be around $1.2 million in both investments and cash. Trudeau received regular dividends from the investments and others, as much as $20,000 annually. The estate also inherited a family home in Montreal as well as a summer home in the Laurentian mountains. In addition to this, he is a beneficiary of a company that receives royalties from his father’s autobiography and other sources estimated at about $10,000 a year. Trudeau may also stand to inherit money from his mother, Margaret Trudeau: According to Celebrity Net Worth, Margaret is worth $10 million.
Before taking office, Trudeau made a living as a teacher. Upon graduating with a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of British Columbia in 1998 (he also has a B.A. from McGill), he worked as a supply teacher and then full-time at Vancouver’s West Point Grey Academy (where he wore blackface to a party) and Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School between 1999 to 2002. His annual salary at the time is estimated to be around $44,000.
Fast forward to 2008 when Trudeau (who went back to school and also starred in a CBC movie, The Great War, in the interim) won a seat in Parliament, and started earning $150,000 annually. Another source of income for Trudeau around this time was his public speaking. He started speaking at events two years before he was elected and the gig quickly became lucrative, with the future PM making $462,000 in 2007 alone. With the blessing of the federal ethics commissioner, Trudeau continued to take speaking gigs here and there while he was an MP. But that had to stop when he ran for the Liberal Party leadership nomination.