Everyone knows that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s reconnect tour is his effort to show Canadians that he is not just a privileged Canadian, but also is capable of understanding what the average citizen is thinking.
But more importantly, it is also designed to change the channel from a disastrous cash-for-access program that defies all rules and common sense (which the PM still will not abandon), and from an elite private island-in-the-sun fiasco, replete with private helicopters and a retinue of friends.
It is clear, after more than a week of hard work by some terrific reporters to get the details, why the Prime Minister’s Office tried to keep this trip a secret — the Christmas holiday was at the private island of someone to whom the PM gave $50 million of taxpayers’ money to last year alone.
It does not matter that Aga Khan Foundation Canada does terrific work — or that the Aga Khan is a revered man whom Trudeau has known his whole life.
It just looks really bad — and does not pass the smell test — and it brings the reputation of both the PM AND the Aga Khan into disrepute. It should not have occurred, and did not need to occur.
In a well-functioning PMO, someone should have had the good sense to tell Trudeau just so — before the trip. Every elected official needs someone to give him or her the unvarnished truth.
In this case, the president of the Liberal party could have passed along the views of the rank-and-file of the membership — except she was also on this trip! Anna Gainey should have seen it coming.
Is there no one who has the good sense to tell the PM what works, what is defensible, what flies (or more importantly, what shouldn’t be flying? ), or is the arrogance of Trudeau’s Ottawa so pervasive that it is above the law, the rules, and above what most Canadians call “common sense”?
If the first explanation is the case, there is still time to fix it — get someone in there who does not suck up, or is at least not bowled over by the Majesty of the First Selfie.
If the second explanation is the reason for these stupendously inane mistakes, suck it up Canadians, only a few more years.
— LeDrew is a lawyer, broadcaster and former party president whose job it was to tell Prime Minister Jean Chretien that it was his time to leave office
Toronto Sun by Stephen Ledrew
Jan 14th 2017