Life-size cut-outs of Justin are all the rage these days. And no, we’re not talking about Bieber.
On Tuesday it was revealed the federal government spent $1877.24 of taxpayer dollars on 14 celebrity-style cardboard cut-outs of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The cuts-outs were ordered by Global Affairs Canada and placed at Canadian missions around the world.
While Canadians first got wind of the memorabilia item usually reserved for film celebs and rock stars back in March, the cost has only just come to light after the department responded to an inquiry submitted by the Conservatives.
“Missions have been asked to no longer use these items for their events,” says the inquiry response, signed by foreign affairs minister Chrystia Freeland. “Nonetheless, under our government, Canada is re-engaging with the world to champion the values that Canadians hold dear and advance our interests.”
The opposition isn’t buying the spin. “The minister’s response is a laughable excuse,” Conservative MP John Brassard, who serves as deputy ethics critic, told the Sun in a phone interview. “I don’t think anyone is going to buy the idea that two dimensional cut-outs somehow champion our values. It’s a vanity project.”
This costly bureaucratic swooning should come as no surprise though. “Justin Trudeau joyfully mobbed by federal civil servants,” the CBC proudly proclaimed in a headline back in November 2015.
The PM showed up at the foreign affairs department’s head office and… well let’s have the state broadcaster tell the story as they’re much better at gushing over the PM:
‘Trudeau appeared and began to make his way out of the building. He was swarmed. Many took photos and even selfies along the way.
‘The prime minister was hugged. Cheers erupted. He smiled, waved and stopped by the door.
‘He thanked the crowd for supporting the members of his cabinet, who had just left. Then he continued: “We’re going to need every single one of you to give us, as you always do, your absolute best.”
‘They applauded and cheered some more. Some yelled back: “You’ve got it.”’
Now these would be the very same cohort of bureaucrats who saw fit to order cut-outs of their heart throb PM at over $100 a piece.
“It’s not just this $2000 – it all ends up,” Brassard notes. “They’re running massive debts and deficits and here they are nickel and diming Canadian taxpayers.”
A simple online search reveals you can get a better deal on Justin Bieber cut-outs, now on sale at $43.19.
As the Biebs sings in his hit tune Baby: “Oh, for you I would have done whatever.”
Apparently, in the minds of star-struck bureaucrats, this includes being lousy managers of the public purse.
Toronto Sun by Anthony Furey
May 9th 2017