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Op-ed: Trudeau’s ethics scandal proves that Canada needs a working class Prime Minister

Thank you to the Beaches East-York riding association for letting me use their blog space to pen this Op-ed. Original post found here: http://www.beyndp.ca/trudeausethics


The slimy, sickening saga of Justin Trudeau’s private holiday vacation to his billionaire-best friend’s beach villa has finally come to an end.

The result? The confirmation that for the first time in Canadian history, our Prime Minister broke ethics law.

Justin Trudeau was found in contravention of the Conflict of Interest Act sections 5, 11, 12 and 21. Essentially, the Prime Minister of Canada: knowingly accepted a gift from a registered lobbyist who has dealings with the government; that he failed to remove himself from discussions that furthered the private interests of the Aga Khan; that the Prime Minister travelled on a non-commercial aircraft; and finally that he failed to arrange his private affairs to avoid such an opportunity at all.

In layman’s terms, Justin Trudeau broke the law four times.

The trip somehow still cost Canadians over $200,000. The Prime Minister will not be punished or fined for this ethics breach as the Ethics Commission, Mary Dawson, has no punitive powers whatsoever.

At the core of all of this though should be the realization for all Canadians of a fact that so many of us already know:

The election of Justin Trudeau was not the progressive win that many Canadians wanted it to be, but the continued domination by the establishment class. A return, even, to the prevailing power of the Laurentian elite that have held Canada in a vice-like grip since Confederation.

The Liberal party cabinet, in all its youthful, gender-equal glory, still fundamentally represent this class. They have shown us snippets of this in their two years in power so far.

A $6,000 bill to take pictures of the Environment Minister at one event. $3,700 for the Health Minister’s limo rides to get around Toronto – paid to a company owned by a Liberal supporter nonetheless. A $200,000 cover photo for the budget. Any of these would be a hard bill to swallow for the average working Canadian, yet the government can’t seem to get it through their heads that it was us who paid for it all.

Most infamously of course, the Finance Minister’s French villa that he forgot to declare among his assets, not to mention the millions of shares he still held in his own company until mere weeks ago, earning him hundreds of thousands in dividend payouts every month.

The idea that “Real Change” could be brought to Canada by Justin Trudeau, the son of millionaires whose surnames defined the original establishment class, is and always has been, a joke.

A joke at the expense, literally, of the working class people of Canada that were deluded into the idea that this government would make things substantially better for them. This government, full of the entitled elite class, could never make that happen.

For a government to be not just compassionate, but active to the needs and struggles of working Canadians, it needs to be made up of people who have experienced that life. Imagine for a moment: A Finance Minister who knows what it’s like to live paycheque-to-paycheque. A Health Minister whose parents came home from work smelling like a construction site, coughing up concrete dust and asphalt. A Public Safety Minister whose children started working at 14 to help pay the family grocery bill.

What Canada needs is a proper working class Prime Minister, and a cabinet to match.

Someone who understands that every dollar spent on photo shoots and private vacations, is one less childcare space, and one more person added to the social housing wait-list.

A culture of entitlement surrounds this government, as it has surrounded nearly every government in Canadian history.
For as long as Canadians continue to elect millionaires to manage the pocket books of the working poor, that culture of entitlement will follow our leaders wherever their private helicopters take them.

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