What is the difference between the Ontario & Federal Liberals? Apparently, next to nothing.
When will all Canadians wake up and smell the scam most of you fell for during the last election? Contact the CVP, get involved and lets make a difference at the next election.
When Conservative Sen. Mike Duffy had some questionable expenses, and they turned out to be $90,000 rather than a pittance, the prime minister of the day, Stephen Harper, refused to sign off on them.
So his then-chief-of-staff, Nigel Wright, so rich that he never charged a dime for his services to the PMO, went behind the PM’s back and cut a personal cheque to the Ol’ Duff to get him off the hook on money allegedly owed to taxpayers.
And we all know how that turned out.
It immediately began circling the bowl.
So now we learn that the two top aides of the current prime minister, Justin Trudeau, put in expense chits totalling more than $200,000 so that the taxpayer could pick up their moving costs when they sold their expensive digs in Toronto to be at his side in the nation’s capital.
Neither Gerald Butts, Trudeau’s principal secretary, nor Katie Telford, his chief of staff, were in need of a Kickstarter campaign, nor were they about to say no to the top political jobs in the country if their moving costs were nixed.
Unlike Harper, however, who essentially told Duffy the taxpayer had paid enough of his bills, Justin Trudeau signed off on his top political staffers’ high-dollar moving expenses, proving again he has no understanding of the middle class he claims to know so well.
The average worker in this country, going by Statistics Canada’s latest data, earns $48,250 a year.
So it would take the average Canadian almost six years in after-tax dollars to earn what Butts and Telford just got gifted by their leader with a stroke of his pen.
It was manna on top of manna.
Public land records accessed by the Globe and Mail showed Butts sold his Toronto home for $630,000 more than he paid for it, with Telford picking up close to a half-million in profit on hers.
So Trudeau’s signing off on their moving expenses, which included realty and lawyers’ fees, was extremely bad judgment and optics, even if it broke no rules.
Trouble is, Trudeau grew up entitled, and undoubtedly sees such entitlements as a right because he knows no differently.
For Butts and Telford, their $200,000-plus in moving expenses was nothing more than a $16 orange juice being expensed and paid back, although apparently not quite as toxic as the glass expensed by former Harperite cabinet minister Bev Oda, who was literally run out of town.
It’s a helluva deal if you happen to run in the privileged inner circle of a Liberal prime minister who is used to bespoke suits and pen-stroke entitlements.
It is a place where money is apparently never the object if, and when, it comes from the public purse.
The problem is keeping it out of the media.
Now caught, both Butts and Telford agreed Thursday to pay back “personalized cash payouts and incidentals.”
These “incidentals,” by the way — so-called out-of-pocket expenses — totalled a staggering $45,000.
They live, indeed, in another world.