Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is taking cues from failed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
He should proceed with caution, because things didn’t end well for her.
Clinton was running against one of the most reviled (by Democrats) Republican opponents in U.S. political history.
She had glowing endorsements from the media, unions, Wall Street, Hollywood, even many Republicans.
Yet she managed to lose.
Clinton was an uninspiring candidate, yes.
But what really sunk her campaign — no, it wasn’t the Russians — was that allegations of political corruption followed her wherever she went.
Then there was the Clinton Foundation, where
Hillary and Bill Clinton seemed particularly shameless about how they raised money.
While Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, the Clinton Foundation received tens of millions in “donations” from Saudi princes and other Islamist dictatorships.
Officials from Qatar promised a $1 million donation and sought a private meeting with Bill Clinton. The gift was received, and yet, never declared to the State Department. It is not known if this meeting took place.
You can’t make this stuff up.
And that’s where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau comes in. We learned two disturbing revelations this week about the way Trudeau raises money.
First, Trudeau said he gets lobbied at Liberal Party fundraisers.
Second, we learned about foreign donations to his family’s charity, the Trudeau Foundation.
News broke in late November that the Liberal Party of Canada was hosting private fundraising events featuring Trudeau, with tickets selling for $1,500-a-pop.
Attendees at a May, 2016 event included wealthy Chinese businessmen with financial interests in Canada.
According to the Globe and Mail, Zhang Bin, an advisor to the Chinese Communist government, attended the dinner and it was soon thereafter announced Zhang Bin would be donating to Trudeau’s pet causes.
Zhang donated $750,000 to the University of Montreal, $200,000 to the Trudeau Foundation and $50,000 to build a statue of Justin’s father, former Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau.
(The Foundation says the negotiations for the donations occurred before the fundraiser and that Justin Trudeau resigned from the Foundation in December, 2014.).
Another attendee at the $1,500-per-person fundraiser, Chinese banker Shenglin Xian, had a banking licence pending approval before the federal government, according to the Globe.
A few weeks later, his bank, Wealth One, was given final approval to operate in Canada.
(A Liberal party spokesman says Xian’s application was not discussed at the fundraiser.)
But after weeks of Liberals denying any lobbying had taken place at these private fundraisers, Trudeau, during his year-end news conference, said Liberal donors do use their access at such events to lobby him.
But, according to Trudeau, he’s not influenced by this and he champions Canada’s middle class at these high-dollar fundraisers.
Alongside wining-and-dining elite businessmen, Trudeau’s family charity, much like the Clinton’s, started wheeling-and-dealing in foreign donations.
An exclusive report by Postmedia found foreign donations to the Trudeau foundation have grown ten-fold since Trudeau became leader of the Liberal Party
In 2016, the Trudeau Foundation raised $535,000 from foreign contributors, compared to $196,000 from Canadians. (The Foundation says the majority of these foreign donations are from Canadians living abroad).
Conservative leader Rona Ambrose has asked the federal ethics commissioner to investigate a possible conflict of interest.
Sounds like the same kinds of ethical questions our American neighbours were concerned about in the 2016 election.
Malcolm is the author of 3 books, including her latest, Stupid Things Trudeau Says, available at
Ottawa Sun December 13th 2016 Candice Malcolm