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Meet the new partisans. Same as the old partisans.

Attacking the media over ‘Nannygate.’ Silence on the hiring of former oil execs. Turns out Liberal partisans are a lot like Conservative ones.


 
Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau is accompanied by his wife Sophie Gregoire as he arrives to give his victory speech after Canada's federal election in Montreal, Quebec, October 19, 2015. (Christinne Muschi/Reuters)

Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau is accompanied by his wife Sophie Gregoire as he arrives to give his victory speech after Canada’s federal election in Montreal, Quebec, October 19, 2015. (Christinne Muschi/Reuters)

In 1975, Pierre Elliott Trudeau built a swimming pool. An avid swimmer, Trudeau liked the idea of such a thing in the prime minister’s official residence, and was further assuaged by the fact that a group of private donors would foot the $200,000 bill.

Yet the swimming pool came back to haunt him eight years later, just as Trudeau was readying his second exit from Canadian politics. As the Canadian Press reported, taxpayers actually footed $25,677.30 of the cost, mostly for the design and inspection of the pool, sauna and tunnel to the main house.

It wasn’t much, about $110,000 in inflation-adjusted dollars, but the added expense helped fuel the narrative of Trudeau as a swaggering spendthrift seemingly addicted to the taxpayer-funded trappings of power. “We pay for his nanny. We pay for his wine. We pay for his food,” as news host Tom Cherington put it in a 1984 interview with incoming Progressive Conservative prime minister Brian Mulroney. “Are we going to have to pay for your nannies?”

Mulroney’s response—“No, no, no,” in that lounge act baritone of his—was pure blarney. Mere months later, Mulroney’s flacks turned themselves into knots trying to justify the nanny hired on the public dime. The nanny wasn’t a nanny, said Mulroney staff, but a person who “interfaces with the children in a habitual way.”

Some may cry hypocrisy, but there is a certain numbing comfort to be taken in Mulroney’s duplicity. It was confirmation yet again that despite politicians’ feverish proclamations to the contrary, addiction to the taxpayer-funded trappings of power is a decidedly non-partisan affair. Everyone does it, so much so that politicians of any stripe hardly suffer politically when they go against their word—often within weeks of taking power.

Which is exactly why it is difficult to even feign outrage at Justin Trudeau’s decision to allow Canadian taxpayers to pay for the care of his young brood. Yes, he made a show of giving his Universal Child Care Benefit cheque to charity, but so what? That was before the election, when he had a narrative to sell; now that he’s sold it, there is the very real issue of having people to interface with the children in a habitual way. Or, as Liberal spokesperson Kate Purchase defined Trudeau’s nannies, “two household employees who, in addition to performing other duties around the house, act as secondary caregivers to the three children.” Either way, they don’t come cheap.

Supporters of Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau cheer at his election night headquarters during Canada's federal election in Montreal, Quebec, October 19, 2015. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

Supporters of Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau cheer at his election night headquarters during Canada’s federal election in Montreal, Quebec, October 19, 2015. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

My issue isn’t with Trudeau’s taxpayer-funded nannies. Rather, it’s with the the Liberal partisans who have come to defend and even elevate this kind of behaviour. Seemingly overnight, many Liberals partisans have transformed following October’s election. Once the purveyors of put-upon outrage at everything Stephen Harper-related, including the blinkless loyalty our former PM compelled from his subjects, they became oddly Harper-ish in their attacks against anyone who would dare critique Trudeau.

“The rest of the world is talking about security, the climate, Canadian media spent the day on two nannies,” wrote one prolific Liberal in a typically partisan tweet. She later added, “I hope to God that [mainstream media] gets slapped with more papers closing and the CBC could go as well.”

Attacking the media was once the sole jurisdiction of the Harper partisan, but with the change in government comes a change in perceived victimhood. It is frankly absurd to think that Liberal partisans wouldn’t have pitched a righteous fit had Stephen Harper hired nannies at taxpayer expense. The attack line writes itself: Harper, the author of lavish tax breaks to the one per cent, has taxpayer-funded child care—despite making roughly $340,000 a year and being unburdened by rent or mortgage.

It goes deeper than the care of Trudeau’s kids. During the election, the Liberals turfed Liberal campaign adviser Dan Gagnier when it came out that he was simultaneously on the payroll of TransCanada, the energy infrastructure giant currently lobbying to put various pipelines into Canadian soil. “The finance minister will be critical” for TransCanada fortunes, Gagnier wrote in a letter to the company. Coincidence or not, among the first hires by Finance Minister Bill Morneau: senior special assistant Sharan Kaur, a former communications specialist with … TransCanada.

And yesterday, as Liberal partisans decried so-called nannygate, came the news that Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr had hired a former vice-president with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers as his chief of staff.

There is nothing outwardly wrong with the hiring of former oil and gas executives to serve in two of the more important ministries in the land. Of course, Trudeau railed against Harper’s supposed proximity to Canada’s oilpatch, but that was before the election. Now there are pipelines to be built.

What’s infuriating is the silence emanating from the Liberal partisan camp on these hires. I couldn’t find a single example of a Liberal partisan critiquing the government for hiring former oil and gas executives. Had the Conservatives pulled the same stunt, we’d be hearing about the oil patch’s enduring influence over Harperland. But it’s crickets when a Liberal does it. Politicians are hypocritical by necessity. In their selective outrage, partisans are a far worse beast. They are hypocritical by design.


 

Meet the new partisans. Same as the old partisans.

  1. “It is frankly absurd to think that Liberal partisans wouldn’t have pitched a righteous fit had Stephen Harper hired nannies at taxpayer expense. ”

    Yup. Just like they did with Harper’s personal chef and housekeepers.
    Oh wait.

    • Your “zinger” proves the point of the article. Cogency isn’t your strong suit.

          • Ah, the point of the article is that I’m stupid.

            I can clearly see that you’re not stupid, Bill.

          • Don’t worry Tresus….

            Everyone thinks you’re stupid. Nothing you write will ruin your “cred”…just keep up the good work.

            In fact, I still doubt you see why we’re laughing at you.

          • Thanks jameshalifax.

            It’s very kind of you and bill to just make the assertion and save me the embarrassment of substantiating it.
            I will admit that, unlike you, I’m not equipped to understand Chris Monckton’s cure for AIDS and the common cold, or his overturning of fundamentals of climate change science.

          • Tresus,

            We don’t have to “make the assertion” that you are an idiot, or that you are stupid.

            Every post you make proves the assertion correct. but you keep trying.

          • Yes, jameshalifax.
            I’m quite familiar with how you substantiate your assertions:
            There’s the evidence, right there. There it is. It’s the evidence. There. It’s over there. Here it is. Didn’t you see it? Well, we’ve seen it. It the evidence. There….

            Hahahaha!

          • Actaully, tresus,

            Whenever I point to evidence of your stupidity, it simply relies on my referencing anything you post. I don’t need to SAY you are stupid…..everything you write proves you are stupid.

            I don’t have to do the work….you do it for me.

          • There it is again! Right…there!
            It’s like proving unicorns. I don’t have to SAY there are unicorns, I just need to reference them.

          • Tresus wrote:

            “There it is again! Right…there!
            It’s like proving unicorns. I don’t have to SAY there are unicorns, I just need to reference them.”

            But tresus; and I hate to break this to you….Unicorns ARE NOT REAL !!

            Your stupidity however. Is

    • Mike Duffy repaid $90,000 to taxpayers, the national media was in a hissy about it for over a year. REPAID $90,000, Trudeau’s bilking taxpayers for over $100,000/year for his nannies (plural).

      Bev Oda, spent $16 of taxpayers money on a glass of orange juice, this resulted in over a week of critical coverage. Over $16.

      The point isn’t actually the nannies. Most people wouldn’t have a problem with paying for the PM’s nannies, but they have a problem with it when he was elected on a platform insisting that rich people should pay to raise their own kids, and that they don’t need help.

      And it’s not like the nannies are some new expense, he’d been employing them for years previously, he just sees his new job as a way to get taxpayers to pay for it instead of paying for it himself. You literally could not make something up that was more hypocritical and self-serving than this.

      • The problem wasn’t $90,000! That is peanuts! Why would Harper try to hide it? Why not just say it was wrong, we are paying it back? Everyone would understand. The reason he tried to hide it is because Duffy had a full time job flying all over Canada on the taxpayer dime raising $ millions for the Conservative party. Harper appointed an unqualified, unvetted journalist for one reason….raise money for the party and have the taxpayer pay for it. Duffy and Gerstein alone spend $800,000 of taxpayers money fundraising. So guess what? If Harper could pay it off through his chief of staff, Duffy could get back out on the road raising millions more using taxpayer dollars. Harper could have easily got rid of Duffy and Canadians would understand but Harper had other motives. Why do you think the Cons had so much more money that the other parties when only 30% of Canadians supported them. Trudeau did donate his UCCB to charity and still won’t collect any child care because the Liberal plan doesn’t give child care to really rich people. A pretty solid policy I think.

  2. I’m not going to disagree with the main point, but I will say this: the Conservatives turned the whole ‘the media is out to get us’ schtick dinto a fundraising cottage industry. It’s one thing to see Liberal partisans shoot the messenger when they’re confronted with stories they don’t like. They’re not going to stage a fundraising appeal around it.

    At least, not yet.

    • Maybe it’s because the Conservatives have a point. Bev Oda’s $16 orange juice was national news for a week. Mike Duffy repaying $90,000 was national news for well over a year. Liberal partisans were always complaining about how taxpayers had to pay for Stephen Harper’s hairdresser when he was going to be on TV…. yet now we have columnists across the country writing editorials about how nobody should complain about paying for Trudeau’s $100,000+/year nanies, even though he was elected on the premise that rich people should pay to raise their own kids. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the blatant media bias.

  3. Wait a second, did you just write an entire column about comment board trolls?

    • Awesome article? What is so awesome about endless whining and drivel? Who hired this guy anyway? He is obviously no writer. He sounds like someone fresh out of a grade school sandbox. Grow up already and write something an adult would want to read.

  4. Why use the term ‘nannies’ when the ladies have been hired as household staff to perform various duties and act as secondary caregivers to the three children. Just like the Harper family had two household staff performing various duties at Stornoway and 24 Sussex.

    But Mr. Martin Patriquin would have us believe that because the Liberals did not complain about it, the household staff at Stornoway and 24 Sussex never had to interact with little Rachel who was 5 when her father became leader of the opposition and occupant at Stornoway, or give a hand with some of the 200 cats sheltered at 24 Sussex. If they had the Liberals would have complained, claims Patriquin, and then the author knows exactly with the words they would have used. I don’t buy it. The Liberals did not complain because they didn’t think anything of it, and because they too benefit from such services.

    What various duties household staff perform in the residence of the prime mnister is a private matter. Our concern is the total cost, not whether or not we should have taxpayers pay for walking the dog, changing the kitty litter or little Hadrien’s diaper when mom is at a function with dad.

    • Loraine,

      You remain a daft dolt.

      You wrote: “The Liberals did not complain because they didn’t think anything of it, and because they too benefit from such services. ”

      Actually, Loraine, the compliant is NOT the fact Trudeau’s nannies are paid by taxpayers. (I don’t think it’s a big deal) the Complaint is that Trudeau said repeatedly during the campaign that RICH GUYS LIKE ME SHOULDN”T get taxpayer help to raise their kids. He said he’d return his UCCB and give it to charity; which, as I have pointed out already, is not really a sacrifice if you return a small amount of money meant to help you raise your kids….in return for the ability to “write your own ticket” and get the taxpayers to pay 100% of the costs. All this, when you (trudeau) are already filthy rich and making $365,000 per year and have no bills to pay.

      Do you see the problem yet Loraine?

      I didn’t think so.

      • Actually I still don’t see a problem because Justin Trudeau is still on track to abolish payments of Canada Child Benefits to the wealthiest of Canadians, including himself. That is what he promised to do.

        He never said he would forego the use of an official residence and its household staff. On the contrary, he repeatedly explained during the campaign how important it is to him that his work does not damage or hurt in any way his family and that he was going to make sure that his family life works well with his professional obligations.

        Even the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, not the typical Liberal organization with former employees such as Jason Kenney, countless Reform Party candidates, Conservatives MP John Williamson, etc., even the CTF director has said that he “doesn’t think taxpayers need to be concerned if there is no additional cost.
        “If they’re prepared to shift … some of the other uses of the staff, to give that up in exchange for child care services so taxpayers are not out any additional money, I don’t see that as a problem,”

        I agree with that, and I maintain that a journalist who uses the word ‘nannies’ instead of household staff is lying to its readers and should have the courage and the professionalism to correct his text.

        • As I wrote above, Loraigne,

          You really are daft. The fact you are quite blind to what the problem is, is proof enough that you should simply read the comments of others’, as doing otherwise, makes you look ridiculous.

          I suspect you come by your idiocy honestly, but still, you are embarrasing yourself.

          Does someone else want to explain it to her? I really don’t think she sees it.

          • You need something explained to you little Jimmy. You’re the one who is a daft idiot if you can’t see that your problem is being a self righteous jerk with no respect for the rights of others to voice their views on this forum. Just because Loraine sees the situation from a different perspective than you does not give you license to hurl insults and abuse at her. You are the one who looks ridiculous you ignorant dolt.

          • Lee Mattheson wrote:
            “You need something explained to you little Jimmy. You’re the one who is a daft idiot if you can’t see that your problem is being a self righteous jerk with no respect for the rights of others to voice their views on this forum. Just because Loraine sees the situation from a different perspective than you does not give you license to hurl insults and abuse at her. You are the one who looks ridiculous you ignorant dolt.”

            Lee, if she’s an idiot…she’s an idiot. There is nothing self-righteous about pointing out how MUCH of an idiot she is. I explained to her why what she was saying was wrong, and I was pretty clear about it. She either refuses to see it, or she simply lacks the capacity to see it. Again…that pretty much proves my point.

            If she had a different perspective, that is one thing. In this case however, there are not PERSPECTIVES…she is simply deluded.

            As for hurling abuse……hmm…pretty sure I get more hurled my way than most, but I have a pretty thick skin. Not quite as think as Lorainge’s head mind you…but close.

            but thanks for your comments……I will just assume you are her hubby, or at least some lonely dude looking for a date. Just ask for her number and get it over with. Leave me out of it.

          • Well Lee. Jameshalifax clearly demonstrated that you can’t see the proof, which proves that you should look at the proof he has to know that he proved that thing.

          • Tresus wrote:

            “Well Lee. Jameshalifax clearly demonstrated that you can’t see the proof, which proves that you should look at the proof he has to know that he proved that thing.”

            Sorry, Tresus….I leave the “Chretien Defence” to Chretien. It is not my failing that you cannot recognize self-evident proof when you see it…..it is your failing. In fact, given your abiliy of NOT recognizing the evidence, I would suspect that you are somehow genetically similar to Loraigne herself; but not quite as smart.

          • “I leave the “Chretien Defence” to Chretien.”
            “self-evident proof”

            Beautiful.

          • Tresus,

            Your inability to understand “self-evident” proof is telling.

            Try this and let me know if any paper would make it more accurate.

            1. Turn on a burner on your stove.
            2. Wait for it to get red hot.
            3. put your hand on it.

            Now, if you need a paper published in a journal as “proof” that this isn’t a good idea….then clearly the failiing is yours.

            by the way….please don’t Actually put your hand on the hot burner. It will cause serious burns. Just trust me on this, as after much research, I cannot find a peer reviewed paper to back up my assertions.

        • No Loraine, you’re the one who’s lying. It’s not the journalist who’s calling them nannies, it’s Trudeau who calls them nannies. And they’re not typical household staff of the PM, because Trudeau had these 2 nannies in his employ for years before becoming PM. The only difference is that now he’s making taxpayers pay them instead of paying for them himself.

          Trudeau is still on track to abolish payments of Canada Child Benefits to the wealthiest of Canadians, including himself. That is what he promised to do.

          Yes, he won’t receive the $3,000 to help raise his kids. Instead he’ll be receiving over $100,000 in taxpayers subsidies to raise his kids. Is that what he promised to do? Are you really this delusional?

      • Take off your partisan blinders! Trudeau will NOT receive child care benefits as per the sensible logical policy. As opposed to Harper who wanted to give money to all the really rich people. The PM of Canada should have (and has always) have staff to look after the household. The travel schedule and workload is immense and Canadians should be proud of a young man to take on the challenge when he really didn’t need the money or the power. He truly wants to make Canada a better country.

        • Say what you will, this would not have been much of an issue at all if Trudeau wasn’t being so hypocritical via his campaign rhetoric about the undeserving rich.

        • Too true Tom….

          and in Trudeau’s mind….the country won’t be worth living in until every last one of us has a “selfie” with the new PM.

  5. Martin explain something. The PM’s salary is paid by the taxpayer. So is the household budget for 24 Sussex Drive. How would the Trudeau family acquire the services of a nanny that isn’t paid for by the taxpayer? Or that of any MP for that matter? CLOWNS!

    • Ted,

      I don’t think the issue is REALLY about who is paying for the nannies. the issue, is that Justin Trudeau blatantly LIED about it.

      That’s the issue. Being a two-faced hypocrite tends to get the attention of the media. Especially, if the media was fooled into thinking he was different.

      • Trudeau never said he would not use an official residence and its household staff. He has every right to do so, just as he has every right to collect his salary, no matter how wealthy he might be.

      • he never lied about it, stop making up stories to support your enlargement…

          • Now that’s an amusing autocorrect! LOL!

        • Bob….

          He did Lie about it. In fact, he lied about it at every campaign stop.

          If he didn’t lie about it, it would not be the story it has become. C’mon man…use your head.

          Now you just look stupid(er).

          • He might not be able to make an argument or substantiate his assertions, but he can call people “stupid”, so…….there!

          • Tresus,
            I don’t have to substantiate the fact Trudeau Lied.

            One simply has to go back and watch the footage of the campaign stops.

          • I know, jameshalifax.
            One has simply to see the proof that you have. And you don’t need to show us the proof because the proof is the proof.

          • Actually, Tresus…the proof can be found on stations called:

            CBC, CTV, Global national, CPAC..etc..etc…..

            If you watched anything other than teletoons retro…you may have had the chance to watch it yourself.

          • There it is! Look! Look!

  6. Thats author doesn’t like criticism, that what separates reporters from gossip columnists.

    • why is the author an idiot for pointing out the facts?

  7. Martin Noted:

    “Had the Conservatives pulled the same stunt, we’d be hearing about the oil patch’s enduring influence over Harperland. But it’s crickets when a Liberal does it.”

    And yet, when Conservatives have been pointing this out for years…..we’re dismissed as having an active imagination.

    You are simply writing, what most of us already know. Canada’s media is hopelessly biased in favour of the Liberals. (or at the very least, against conservatives)

    Welcome to the real world Martin. Nice to see you have awoken.

    • No matter how hard you try, jameshalifax, you will never have as active an imagination as Monsieur Patriquin has displayed in this piece.

      • Acually, Loraine….

        Martin isn’t basing his story upon his imagination. In fact, I think he’s using quotes from Liberals…….

        Granted, nothing a Liberal says should be taken at face value…but there you go.

        Now go take your Happy pills loraigne, and don’t forget your afternoon nap.

    • what a load…only the Star didn’t endorse harper-the rest of mainstream media did…

      • You have to be kidding. Our PUBLICLY FUNDED CBC is so left wing it’s enough to gag a maggot!!

  8. how much does CBC pay Marty to shill for MacLeans…..it’s sad to watch the woman on the power panel consistently outshine our poor Marty…

    • Alec Castonguay’s column in L’Actualité also covered the case of Sharan Kaur and… TransCanada. He was however more accurate in his description of Sharan Kaur background. Castonguay included a LinkedIn profile which informed readers that Ms. Kaur has been a constitutuency office manager for an Ontario MPP and a Special Assistant, Office of the Toronto Budget Chief, City of Toronto.

      Monsieur Patriquin is unable or unwilling to consider that her combined experience in the Office of the City of Toronto Budget Chief and as office manager of an Ontario MPP constituency office could play a role in her being hired as an assistant at the Ministry of Finance. So he omits the information to create an inuendo so that readers believe that the reason Kaur was hired by the minister of finance is because she had worked for… TransCanada.

      Remember when you read Martin Patriquin that this is the kind of journalism that you are dealing with, so be ready to dig in elsewhere to make sense of what you read.

      http://www.lactualite.com/actualites/politique/une-ancienne-employee-de-transcanada-au-cabinet-du-ministre-des-finances-bill-morneau/

      • Loraine,

        the more you post your idiotic drivel…the more you prove Martin’s point. For example, you write:

        “Monsieur Patriquin is unable or unwilling to consider that her combined experience in the Office of the City of Toronto Budget Chief and as office manager of an Ontario MPP constituency office could play a role in her being hired as an assistant at the Ministry of Finance. So he omits the information to create an inuendo so that readers believe that the reason Kaur was hired by the minister of finance is because she had worked for… TransCanada. ”

        but you don’t seem to grasp that this is martin’s point exactly. when Harper had folks on his staff, the Liberals accused him of all sorts of malfeasance, or being in the pockets of the oil companies.

        In fact Loraigne, if you REALLY can’t see what Mr. Patriquin is trying to explain in his column, then perhaps you should go back to reading something a little less complex, and more in line with your capabilities.

        I suggest you visit the library and find books more at your level. Here’s a hint…..they should “pop up” when you open them.

        Oi vey !!!

  9. Here’s the problem with your fauxrage about the “Liberal partisans” and the nannies…They arent all Liberal partisans! I voted NDP, and I could care LESS about the stupid nannies. Its fluff news! You claim to not really have a problem with them but yet RAIL against it for the entire article!
    You know what I care about? The LAST thing you put in your stupid article! Appointments of oil execs IS an issue, its NEWS worthy, If you actually did your job and made THAT part the news and not some BS about his nannies, maybe you’d actually have a point.

    Be a journalist not a paparazzi gotcha-man. Oil exec appointments = news. Nannies = who the F cares.

    • It’s obviously not about the money, the money’s a drop in the bucket. The reason people have a problem with it is because Trudeau made a big show about donating his $3,000 UCCB check to charity, and then turns around and hits taxpayers for over $100,000. The point is that he’s a complete and utter hypocrite. That may not bother you, but anybody with a sense of morality sees it as highly offensive.

      • Like so many others, you are conflating a social benefit with an employment benefit. Trudeau never promised to stop employers from paying for execs’ nannies (should they so choose). He promised to stop giving a social benefit to those not in need of it. And once the law changes, he will not receive the social benefit. As he promised.

        I grant you, though: the optics are bad… if you can’t parse differences like the one I just explained. Apparently many either can’t… or deliberately choose not to for their own partisan reasons.

      • Bill,

        You see the problem right?

        It is no wonder people voted for Trudeau given the apparent intellect of some commenters on this site. Seriously, if people are too stupid to understand even the most basic argument on these silly nannies being paid for by taxpayers, after Trudeau spent the entire campaign saying he wouldn’t allow it……..then it is no use to argue with them. They simply can’t grasp the concept.

        Scariest part though…..knowing that such imbeciles are beginning to become the majority, and that the only thing they know how to do is vote.

  10. Excellent article. And this is exactly why I believe that governments need to be changed periodically, regardless of political stripe. The temptation to govern based on ideology and to resort to partisanship is too strong to resist. They are usually half-decent during the honeymoon period and for maybe a year or two after. After that, it’s all downhill.

  11. i voted for the liberal candidate in my riding in the last election – not sure that i’m liberal partisan but i’d had enough of the harper brand of conservatism. when jim carr took on janet annesley as chief of staff i emailed to voice my discontent. much to my amazement i received an email from ms. annesley – something i never had received from one of the conservatives who i had emailed regarding my concerns during their time in parliament. i’m going to watch ms. annesley like a hawk but i was impressed by her ability to communicate. i would have included her email but it is probably too lengthy. with regards to nannies – too trite an issue to even discuss.

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