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The dilapidation of the residence at 24 Sussex Drive in Ottawa sparks debate .

Radio-Canada

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In Ottawa, the dilapidated state of the official residence of the Prime Minister of Canada is causing headaches for the federal government, as evidenced by our archives.

The Federal Capital Region is home to six of the seven official residences that exist in Canada.

These buildings were all built before 1925.

Report by correspondent Daniel Lessard on the history of the residence at 24 Sussex Drive

As this report by correspondent Daniel Lessard, presented on the showLes Coulisses du Pouvoiron February 5, 2006, reminds us, the residence of 24 , Sussex Drive was built between 1866 and 1868.

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It became the official residence of Canada's prime ministers in 1951.< /p>

Built on four acres of land overlooking the Ottawa River, this residence is located next to the Rockcliffe district, where several embassies are located, and Rideau Hall, the residence of the Governor General of Canada, Mary Simon.

In the early 1980s, Canada's prime ministers have lived in this vast 34-room residence for three decades.

Very few ordinary Canadians saw the inside at the time.

Prime Minister Joe Clark's family lived there from June 4, 1979 to March 3, 1980.

During this brief stay, the Prime Minister's wife, Maureen McTeer, decided to authorize a television crew to visit the residence to introduce it to the Canadian population .

Maureen McTeer receives the team of correspondent Catherine Bergman.

Report by correspondent Catherine Bergman who offers a tour of the residence at 24 Sussex Drive.

This guided tour is presented at Téléjournalon March 23, 1980, hosted by Jean Ducharme that day.

We see that Maureen McTeer took the opportunity to give a serious facelift to home.

The first lady wants Canadians to see 24 Sussex Drive as a nice place where Canadian arts and craftsmanship thrive present.

Upon his return to power in early March 1980, Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau approved and decided to retain the decoration chosen by Maureen McTeer.

This decision makes Catherine Bergman say that ironically, Maureen McTeer will have had more influence on the history of 24 Sussex Drive than her husband's government will have had on the history of Canada.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">On November 5, 1995, a man armed with a knife broke into the residence at 24 Sussex Drive.

The commotion is huge in Canada.

The man could have attacked, even injured or even killed Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and his wife Aline, who were sleeping in the house.

Report by parliamentary correspondent Daniel L'Heureux summarizing the main conclusions of a report on the flaws in the protection of 24 Sussex Drive. Michèle Viroly hosts Téléjournal.

A report by correspondent Daniel L'Heureux, presented to Téléjournal on December 13, 1995, highlights the numerous flaws in the protection of the place.< /p>

A heavily redacted report from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police reveals deficiencies of an extraordinary magnitude.

The security guards had no idea in which room the prime minister and his wife were resting.

Nowadays, the various challenges involving security and protection raise questions about the location of the official residence of the Prime Minister of Canada.

The surroundings of the Ottawa River are considered by some as a very difficult place to defend.

The venerable age of the residence at 24 Sussex Drive would require urgent renovations.

Indeed, the last major repairs date from the 1950s.

< p class="StyledImageCaptionLegend-sc-57496c44-2 sbxsP">Report by journalist Mathieu Nadon on the Auditor General of Canada's report analyzing the renovation costs of 24 Sussex Drive.

In 2008, the Auditor General of Canada, Sheila Fraser, deplored this negligence, as recalled in this report by journalist Mathieu Nadon presented to Téléjournal on May 6, 2008.

It would take $10 million to restore the residence, say the Auditor General of Canada and the Federal Capital Commission , responsible for the maintenance of the building.

However, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, like some of his predecessors, does not want to spend money public money to rehabilitate this residence.

In 2021, a report from Canada's National Capital Commission estimated that $36 million would be needed to modernize the residence.

In 2023, this amount would have increased to $40 million and there is debate over whether to renovate the old house or simply build a new residence.

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