Justin said “We are following the policy as it was laid out by the previous government”. Does he even listen to what’s coming out of his mouth? If Canadians wanted to keep following the way things were done with the “previous government”, we would have voted in the Conservatives… but WE DIDN’T.
I implore everyone to find out more about us and what we stand for and to get involved so that at the next election Canadians can come first, not these entitled Liberals and all of their buddies.
BTW Mr. Trudeau, “The figure includes more than $200,000 for two members of the Prime Minister’s Office and Justin Trudeau has so far refused to say who” does not fall under the “Chagger responded by saying that her government is “open and transparent.” category.
The Canadian Values Party’s first priority in office will be to change all of these “rules” that make politicians feel so entitled. We are aware that this will take time, but even before they are changed, we will have our own set of rules that will be followed that fall under the rule of “common sense” and “non-entitlement” and “non wastage of tax payers money”.
The Conservatives are accusing the Liberals of “entitlement” and “lining their pockets” after it was revealed they approved more than $1.1 million in relocation costs for staffers.
The figure includes more than $200,000 for two members of the Prime Minister’s Office and Justin Trudeau has so far refused to say who.
MPs Blaine Calkins, Karen Vecchio and Jacques Gourde raised some of the expenses in daily question period Tuesday, stating that:
- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “gave a whopping $220,000 to five political staff,” including $125,000 to one and $80,000 to another for relocation expenses.
- Foreign Minister Stephane Dion approved $146,000 to relocate nine political staff.
- Environment Minister Catherine McKenna gave “over $20,000 to one of her Liberal staffers for their move,” despite “no costs associated with the actual move.”
Also revealed in the documents, which were released after a request from Conservative MP Larry Miller:
- An employee of Global Affairs expensed nearly $120,000 in costs.
- An employee of Environment and Climate Change expensed nearly $76,000.
- A staffer of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains expensed nearly $114,000.
- A staffer of Government House Leader Bardish Chagger expensed more than $70,000.
- Some ministers, including Kirsty Duncan (science), John McCallum (immigration) and Harjit Sajjan (national defence), reported no staff relocation costs.
CTV’s Joyce Napier asked Trudeau after his speech at the United Nations to name the staffers in his office who charged more than $200,000. He would not.
“The fact is when we came into office we followed all the rules set up by the previous government in 2008 for relocation expenses for senior public service and ministers’ staff,” Trudeau said.
“We are following the policy as it was laid out by the previous government,” he added.
Vecchio, the Conservative MP for the Ontario riding of Elgin–Middlesex—London, said in daily question period that she was “shocked at the level of Liberal entitlement when it comes to spending other people’s money.”
“With unemployment rising and families struggling to make ends meet, why do the Liberals think it was somehow okay to spend taxpayers’ hard-earned money on these outrageous expenditures?” she added.
Chagger responded by saying that her government is “open and transparent.”
“We built a diverse team of passionate, hard-working, extremely qualified Canadians to deliver the change people voted for,” said the Ontario MP for Waterloo.
“The team in Ottawa came from coast to coast to coast to serve Canadians and deliver on our promise to grow the middle class and those working hard to join it,” Chagger added.
Vecchio later told CTV’s Power Play that while she understands there are expenses like lawyers’ fees incurred when selling homes and moving to Ottawa, she relocated to the capital for “a heck of a lot less than $5,000.”
NDP MP Niki Ashton called it evidence of a “culture of entitlement that’s alive and well in Liberal Party.”
“It’s been a difficult summer for a lot of Canadians, a lot of Canadians have lost their jobs,” said the MP for Churchill—Keewatinook Aski.
“So to hear this kind of money getting thrown around for something a lot of Canadians have to do – move to get a job — is simply unacceptable,” Ashton added.
Liberal MP Marco Mendicino warned against “casting the first stone,” adding that “Canadians don’t have to look too far in the rear-view mirrors to see some real waste,” including “three-quarters of a billion on ads.”
A PMO spokesperson told CTV News that “any help in relocation was done in accordance within the rules outlined by Treasury Board in the Policies for Ministers’ Offices and the National Joint Council Relocation Directive.”
Among the costs covered by the directive are legal fees on homes sales, professional house cleaning – even assistance for spouses seeking new jobs.
Since the Liberals took office a little over 10 months ago, the Conservatives and NDP have taken turns criticizing the government for money they see as misspent, including
- $17,000 spent on photographs of minister McKenna, mostly during the Paris climate talks
- $24,000 on a tourism video featuring Trudeau that the Tories say broke partisanship rules
- $3,700 for limousines, $520 for an Air Canada lounge pass, $178 for a Nexus pass and $202 for a suitcase, which Health Minister Jane Philpott agreed to repay
- Flight and hotel costs for a trip to Los Angeles in which Minister of International Trade Chrystia Freeland appeared on HBOs “Real Time with Bill Maher”
- Meals and other expenses charged by Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould on the day she travelled to Toronto for a Liberal Party fundraiser
The Conservatives faced their own accusations of inappropriate expenses over a decade in office. Perhaps most famously, International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda spent more than $1,000 a day on a car and driver in London and $16 on orange juice in a five-star hotel.
Andrew Leslie, who is now a Liberal MP, also faced accusations of inappropriate spending in 2014, when it was revealed by CTV News that the former general had charged taxpayers $72,000 to move to a new home in Ottawa only a few blocks from his old one.