Brent Rathgeber Maverick Watch

by Aaron Wherry

The Conservative backbencher laments for how limousines are used by cabinet ministers.

The Cabinet Minister Limousine Service represents one of the most egregious displays of Ottawa opulence.  Every Minister is entitled to a vehicle and a driver.  For security reasons, I do not take issue with Ministers being chauffeured to events around the Nation’s Capital.  But there is little justification for Ministers being driven around the Parliamentary Precincts, especially when the House of Commons also operates a continuous Shuttle Bus Service for MP’s and all Parliamentary Staff.

But the worst waste of taxpayer money involves the 6,548 hours of standby service limo drivers recorded in 2011.  The House of Commons frequently sits until late at night and if votes are being recorded, conceivably more than 30 limousines complete with drivers, will be parked outside Center Block for hours; the whole time overtime being charged for this standby “service”.

Surely there is a more cost effective method of getting Cabinet Ministers to and from meetings.  Surely, as government preaches fiscal discipline such extravagance must be eliminated.  Surely, having limo drivers on standby for hours is a waste of taxpayer dollars.  Surely, there are taxis available in Ottawa.




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Brent Rathgeber Maverick Watch

  1. Well, good. I’m glad to see some Conservativeness in a Conservative. But, do I remember a Brent Rathgeber Maverick Watch before?

  2. heck, give everyone an intown travel budget equivalent to the cost of a monthly bus pass, for them to spend how they see fit.

  3. In about 20 minutes, Brent Rathgeber will issue a press release saying that he totally supports cabinet ministers to have a fleet of limos on standby. And he will smile and nod nervously when Julie Van Dusen finds him in an alley somewhere.

    • Harper could resolve this problem by mandating his backbenchers to pull ministerial rickshaws, with the best performing ones to get a shot at being promoted to Parliamentary Secretary or Committee Seats.
      Plus, its good for the environment, it would help with the backbanchers’ cardio and it will give them something to do when they are not otherwise required to stand up like whack-a-moles whenever there’s a vote in the HoC.
      In the immortal words of the Finance Minister “There is no such thing as a bad job”

      • This is well-thought out and strategic; perhaps loud-mouthed Senators could blow off some steam AND help Canada’s economy too!

        • Good idea! And some could probably lose some excess weight as well.

          • The image of Duffy puffin’ and perspirin’ up Parliament Hill is now burned in my mind. Likely forever. Thanks for that.

          • A little hard work never hurt anyone, though the image is undoubtedly objectionable . . . my apologies. Just don’t think of it before your head hits the pillow for the night, or you might have nightmares.
            I fear however that if for some reason rickshaw privileges are extended to senators, some poor sap would have to pull a Duffy-laden rickshaw. I suppose that feat (reminiscent of Montreal’s legendary Great Antonio) would be punishment for some kind of misdeed. Or maybe it would be some kind of an ‘Iron-man’ competition amongst the backbenchers, the prize being a gaudy T-shirt proclaiming the accomplishment.

  4. It’s too bad the seniors, instinctively-wise and possessing of working moral compasses, weren’t more worked up about some of the more “egregious” affronts to democratic principle and practice that Rathgeber’s government pulled, as he watched silently from the nosebleeds.

    …I’m surprised that it took these grieving seniors to produce this Saul on the road to Damascus conversion. Jesus.

  5. Int: A M.P.’s home office. Late afternoon sunlight pools on the burnished desk, Files, some neglected, some forbidden are tantalizingly within reach.

    A hand drums the desk, as if in anticipation.

    SFX: The ring of an old phone.

    The hand reaches for the phone.

    VO: This is M.P. Brent Rathberger, Hello.

    Cut to Rathberger sitting at the desk, holding the phone. He looks nervous. From the phone comes a voice.

    Voice: Breee-eee-eent.

    Rathberger: Hello?

    Voice: It’s PVL. Pal. How ya doin’.

    Rathberger: Oh…oh, hi…Peter?

    Voice: Let’s us take a ride.

    Rathberger: A ride?

    Voice: Yeah. See the sights. Talk turkey. Y’know, real guy stuff. Just you, me, and Doug.

    Rathberger: Doug? Ummm, I’m, uh, back home. Constituency stuff, you know…I really…

    Voice: We know, Breeee-eeeenty. Hey we’re right outside. C’mon. It’ll be fun.

    Rathberger: You’re…what?

    Voice: Look out the window, Brent. I’m waving. Now get your windbreaker on, kiss your wife good-bye, and Get. In. The. Car.

    Rathberger opens his office blinds a titch. He sees the sumptuous limo. From behind the slightly opened tinted window a glass of Orange Juice emerges and makes ‘clink-clink’ motions.

    Voice: Hey, Brent. See you now….or we don’t see you. Get it?

    Rathberger hangs up the phone, quickly pulls on a nylon windbreaaker from an old Lion’s Club golf tourney and exits.

    EXt. Rathberger silently enters the car. It pulls away in a screech.

    • The above is an entirely fictive portrayal of nothing in particular. No persons portrayed represent real individuals in real situations. Names have been changed to protect….people with names.

  6. So …. he’s not upset about T. Clement’s Muskoka slush fund … he’s upset
    about T. Clement’s chauffer. I’ll have to think about that.

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