Opinion: Trudeau’s Vacations Are Worse Than Pallister’s
Winnipeg, MB – Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister is taking lots of heat for his Costa Rica vacations.
I’m not a big fan of Pallister or the fact that he’s taking trips so far away from the province. It sets a bad example from the top, and it will reduce his credibility with his fellow MLAs and the public when he starts asking for shared sacrifice.
That being said, I disagree with those who are comparing Pallister’s vacations to Justin Trudeau’s trip to the Aga Khan’s private island. Though they both involve trips overseas, there are huge differences between them.
Pallister is using his own money and property, Trudeau risks being bought by foreign influencers
Whether you like the trips or not, at least Pallister is using his own money. He got rich in the private sector, and used that money to buy big homes and property.
Pallister’s Costa Rica trips hold no risk of him being bought or influenced by a foreign power.
Justin Trudeau’s vacation was very different. The Aga Khan’s Foundation has received tens of millions from the federal government, and lobbies the government on numerous issues. Not only did Trudeau vacation on the Aga Khan’s private island, he also flew in the Khan’s private helicopter.
That puts Trudeau in a dangerous ethical spot. It may have even been against the law. Take a look at Section 12 of the Conflict of Interest Act:
“No minister of the Crown, minister of state or parliamentary secretary, no member of his or her family and no ministerial adviser or ministerial staff shall accept travel on non-commercial chartered or private aircraft for any purpose unless required in his or her capacity as a public office holder or in exceptional circumstances or with the prior approval of the Commissioner.”
Because of that section, Trudeau could be in big trouble. The ethics watchdog is now looking into Trudeau’s actions. This is the first time an ethics watchdog has ever looked into a Canadian Prime Minister in that manner.
Whether you like it or not, that’s a big difference from Pallister’s trips to his own property.
Pallister seems out of touch; Trudeau seems willing to sell out our country
The biggest risk to Manitoba is that Pallister’s trips will erode his political authority and make it tougher to get anything done. That’s not good, but it’s not a huge disaster.
The biggest risk with Trudeau is that he is willing to sell out Canada to the highest bidder.
His Aga Khan trip is just the latest in a disturbing pattern of behaviour – the worst of which is Trudeau’s “Cash-For-Access” fundraisers where billionaires from China paid to lobby the PM and the federal government.
While he’s giving access to super-wealthy foreigners (access most Canadians don’t get), Trudeau is pushing for a free-trade deal with China that would hurt the middle-class even more, screw Canadian workers, and crush Canadian manufacturing.
Trudeau has also re-opened the possible sale of Canada-based ITF Technologies to O-Net Communications – a Chinese Company.
ITF Technologies has done business with the Canadian Defence Department, and could have info related to cyber-security, hacking protection, and Canada’s defences.
The previous government blocked the deal, because it was “injurious to national security.”
And yet, lo and behold, after being lobbied at cash-for-access meetings, Trudeau has opened the sale up again.
Bad Judgement vs. Bad Intentions
Trudeau’s willingness to accept foreign favours and grant foreign access to the Aga Khan or foreign billionaire bankers and others is a huge problem, and is part of a disturbing pattern.
It’s very different and has far worse potential consequences than Pallister’s vacations.
That doesn’t make Pallister’s trips a smart idea. It means we need to have perspective and not falsely equate the two issues.
There’s a big difference between bad political judgement and the willingness to sell out our country.
Spencer Fernando, MyToba News