How they spent their summer vacation -

How they spent their summer vacation

Scott Feschuk on Justin Trudeau’s confession and other highlights of the season


Illustration by Levi Nicholson

There is a name for those who tune out politics in Canada during the summer. This group of people is known as “Canadians.” As a public service, I resolved to put together a review of all the important developments you missed during the past few months. But because my column needs to be longer than zero words, I wrote about some of the other ones, too.

1. Justin Trudeau is a pothead. Or something. I’m not really sure because the story about the Liberal leader’s drug use—in which he admitted to having smoked marijuana since being elected to the House—was so very dull. Trudeau went back through every moment he’d ever spent in the vicinity of weed. Gripped by the tale of the Joint He Puffed on Once After Dinner? You’ll love the sequel: the Joint He Briefly Held But Passed On Without Smoking! Basically, the whole interview was what Breaking Bad would have been like if it had been made by the CBC.

Based on this experience, I’d recommend never asking Justin Trudeau if he enjoyed his sandwich. “Well, the first bite was good, and the second bite was good, but the third bite was just OK, you know? And the fourth bite was good and then I gave the fifth bite to a hobo. I don’t really love sandwiches, if you know what I mean. I’m just not a “Sandwich Person.” But I’ll eat a sandwich when friends are eating sandwiches. The sixth bite was good, by the way. The seventh bite . . . ”

Peter MacKay was quick to criticize Trudeau for engaging in an illegal act, saying “his credibility [as an MP] is a little up in smoke.” Yes, MacKay said “up in smoke.” Even if we’re split as a society on whether pot should be legal, surely we all support mandatory minimum sentences for this kind of wordplay.

2. Mike Duffy had a pretty great summer. The highlight was several enjoyable weeks he spent not being Pamela Wallin. An extensive audit concluded that the senator from Saskatchewan(ish) repeatedly billed taxpayers for travel that had nothing to do with “Senate business,” which it turns out is an actual thing and not just a euphemism that Patrick Brazeau uses when heading to the restroom. Bottom line: Wallin owes us about $139,000. Or, as Nigel Wright thinks of it: about 1.5 Duffies.

Of particular note was the revelation that Wallin or members of her staff went back and altered her electronic calendar in an effort to make past flights and hotel stays seem more legit. Hey, it was worth a shot—what were the odds that the auditors would have heard of “computers?”

Not that Duffy is in the clear. He’s still the subject of scrutiny, investigation and, of course, ridicule. In July, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation unveiled a giant inflatable balloon made to resemble a certain bald, rotund senator who happens to be holding a briefcase stuffed with money. On the bright side for Duffy, the balloon is exactly three storeys high, which makes it perfect to claim as his primary residence.

3. The Prime Minister goes North. Visiting the Arctic for the eighth straight summer, the Prime Minister summoned the cameras and fired off a few rounds from a vintage Lee-Enfield rifle—because nothing says “I’m committed to modernizing our armed forces” like having your photo taken with a gun first manufactured before motorized fixed-wing flight. A gun we still actually give to actual people who patrol our actual Arctic, by the way. One can only assume the greatest threat to our northern sovereignty is invasion by the American Confederacy. Those musket ballers don’t stand a chance!

In any event, the sight of a smiling Harper gripping an antique rifle and happily firing off shots reignited speculation that he is preparing to retire from politics to return to his first love: keeping kids off his lawn.

For the record, I’m a fan of the PM’s annual northern trip, partly because I’ve spent a fair bit of time in the North and I support his efforts to showcase the region—but mostly because I like to imagine Peter MacKay sneaking into the PM’s office while he’s gone, sitting at the big desk and pretending to make important phone calls. “No, you listen to me, Mr. President . . . ”

By the way, Harper recently revealed that he’s planning to prorogue Parliament again later this summer. He didn’t really give a reason—he probably just figures that having put in so much practice over the years, it’d be a shame to let that skill erode.

Follow Scott Feschuk on Twitter @scottfeschuk


How they spent their summer vacation

  1. Legalize the ganja!

  2. Scott can be funny when he’s having a good day….

  3. Trite and lame. Another Feschuk masterpiece, made only more so because he forgot to tie in that haughty though wildly successful employment lawyer who managed to drown his Ferrari because he couldn’t see past the end of his nose.

    • Hardly trite and lame. More like spot on. I do imagine Duffy was mightily relieved when the scrutiny moved to Pamela Wallin, Mackay’s smirk-accompanied pun was dopey not to mention disingenuous, and Harper actually has the cred to author his new book “Proroguing Parliament for Dummies”, unlike his hockey book.

      • I don’t get why Feschuck thinks the Wallin audit was good for Duffy. Duffy is in much more serious trouble than Wallin. The RCMP have filed an affidavit about him in court and could be laying the foundation for future charges. Remember that it was Duffy, not Wallin, that secretly took $90,000 from Nigel Wright.

        • I think the idea is that, relatively speaking, it’s a relief when you turn on the TV and someone else is being spotlighted negatively in the media instead of yourself. There are in these cases two aspects to somebody’s discomfiture. the first one is naturally the legal problem, and the second is the media discussion and national exposure. It’s the latter that eased up a bit for Duffy when the sheer size of Wallin’s questionable expenses were brought out into the open. Agreed that Duffy legally is in much more hot water than Wallin, though.

    • Wow – this is the best way you could think of to insult that lawyer?

  4. Be careful.
    Conservatives will think the picture is real and use it in their attack/hate ads.

    • This comment was deleted.

  5. It seems that Trudeau has smoked too much when he comes out with this piece of wisdom.

    “HALIFAX — Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau isn’t ruling out compensation
    for Omar Khadr for the time the convicted terrorist served in Guantanamo

    This is a slap in the face to the families of those who lost a loved one
    in Afghanistan or any overseas Canadian Peacekeeping Mission. Slap in
    the face to anyone who ever served this fine country in uniform/

    • I hope you are also outraged at the Harper govt’s treatment of our vets. And by the way, wearing a military jacket while surveying the floods does not make harper a vet.

      • I am a Vet and in fact am very happy with the way Veteran’s Affairs have treated me over the years for my injuries sustained while serving.

        When Khadr took up Arms against his country and it’s allies he committed treason. We know he killed at least one U.S. Soldier. He was photographed parading around with some poor ba$tards severed hands. He was photographed making IEDs to blow up our troops.

        Now Trudeau thinks that Canada owes this Terrorist “Compensation”

        If the day comes that this Terrorist puke gets compensation from the Government of Canada I will burn my old uniform in the burn barrel behind my house and I will return my medals to the Government of Canada.

        Good day to you sir.

        • He was 15 for goodness sake…not entirely innocent as some claim i grant you, but it wasn’t treason under any law we currently have on the books…and he was railroaded in a US court. We still don’t know if he really killed that guy since his trial was basically a shot gun plea bargain…say you did it and take the 8 years or don’t and we’ll lock you away for 200 years. We don’t have to like what he did, but neither do we need to approve of kangeroo US military justice and torture.
          The compensation i imagine is for our part in ignoring his charter rights and conniving in his brutal treatment in Guantanamo.

          I’m not at all saying he should not had to face consequences for what he did, but a fair trial is not too much to ask for any citizen is it?.

          • At 15 years of age many young men from this country lied about their age and fought in WW1 and WW11. He knew full well what he was doing and for your information it IS Treason under the Criminal Code of Canada. Read the Section. Been there for ever.

            He got his fair trial but the Liberal media cried foul as usual.
            Did you even google Omar Khadr and seen the pictures of him holding severed hands or making improvised explosive devices with his terrorist buddies.

            Trudeau states that Khadr should be treated like every other Canadian. Well sunshine, Khadr and his family are not like every other Canadian. First off they hate our guts but live here sucking our system dry.
            Every other Canadian is not in the sand heap making IEDs and killing allied soldiers.

            Wake up and quit believing what you read in your Liberal dominated media.

          • He wasn’t tried for crimes against humanity or even treason was he?There was compelling evidence that the US military fudged the evidence on the murder charge. Yes, I can follow a story as well as you. You weren’t privy to any more info then the media, so get your facts right.
            As for 15 year old lying about their age to get into the big wars, so what! If they were found out they were refused. Which makes my point about Kadhr, not yours.

          • Sounds like you need to stop watching Ezra Levant.

          • You don’t seem to realize that every Canadian, whether guilty of a crime or not, is entitled to their day in Court and a legal defense to put their case forward. That doesn’t mean one agrees with whatever crimes a person may have committed, but all are entitled to equal legal rights under the law.

          • Every Canadian is entitled to their day in Court in Canada. I realize that very much and I agree with you. However, go overseas and commit a crime you are tried in that country and they do not give a rat’s @$$ if you are a Canadian. Ronald Smith is a Canadian on Death Row in Montanna and has been since 1982 for the murder of two U.S. Citizens. 31 years in jail and they are still going to execute him. They don’t care that he is a Canadian. In Canada he would have been out 15 years ago walking the streets.

            Some countries don’t have equal rights under the law, Like Afghanistan.

            If the Americans had handed little Omar over to the Afghan authorities then we would not be having this conversation.

            Matter of fact Khadr owes his life to the buddies of Sgt Christopher Spear, the medic he killed. They patched him up no doubt saving his life. Instead of turning him over to the Afghan authorities where he would not doubt have been executed, they brought him to Guantanamo.

            My original point was that Trudeau, your idol, has no problem with giving this convicted Terrorist compensation. My second point is that would have been a slap in the face to the family’s of our dead and to every soldier who has ever served this country.

            If any Compensation is to be given then it should be Khadr giving to the widow of Sgt Spears.

          • There are no liberal dominated media in north America, Only variations of a right wing theme.

        • Hey! Do you know why we don’t let `5 year olds vote? Or drink, or smoke, or drive, or enter into legally binding contracts….

          Because they are 15, and do not have the judgment to make adult decisions. Many of them are still heavily influenced by their parents, and will accept what their parents tell them and follow their instructions because they were raised by them, provided for by them, and trust them to know what is best.

          Now maybe you want to pick and choose when you can judge a 15 year old by adult standards, but the law does not. I am afraid you are just going to have to deal with that.

          • In fact, Khadr has been in jail longer than you could hold any 15 year old child offender in Canada, even aside from the other illegal aspects of his detainment.

          • Not if he was charged as an adult which is the prerogative of the Attorney General. If convicted he would face the same penalties as an adult.

          • it can happen, but then he would not be a child offender as stated in the post.

            I have no idea if crimes committed essentially on the instruction of a parent are usually tried as young offenders, but for logical reasons I’m leaning towards it.

          • Get off your moral high horse. Khadr is no ordinary 15 year old Canadian that you describe. He attended terrorist training camps, made IEDs, Killed at least one allied soldier that we know of, Marched around with severed hands displayed which he may very well have cut off himself.
            If he done these things in Canada at 15 or 16 then a Youth Court Judge would have referred him to stand trial in an adult court.

          • Well any 15 year old who is charged with murder, or anything for that matter, is not “ordinary”, if by ordinary you are referring to average. I would suggest, however, that any ordinary 15 year old would follow the instructions of, and be heavily influenced by, the conduct of his father. If he is taught by that father that he is doing the right and moral thing in defence of his faith and his people, he is likely going to go along with that.

            In any event, it is indeed up to the judge to determine whether a young person faces an adult sentence. This happens after that young person is convicted, and therefore throughout the trial process the young person could not be identified.

            Everything Khadr did he did as a result of the influence of his father. That would likely be considered a relevant factor when determining whether to sentence him as an adult. What is not relevant is your personal moral outrage over his conduct.

          • The only outrage I would have is if Khadr was given compensation.
            Let’s see, some soldier gets 250k for losing both his legs and Khadr gets 5 to 10 million. That’s my point.
            No doubt he is going to be a burden on the Canadian taxpayer anyhow just like the rest of his family.

        • I’m please you’re being treated well by Veterans Affairs but surely you have some compassion for those that haven’t been.

          • Absolutely Jan.

      • Mr Harper is not a Vet nor has he ever claimed that he was. Big deal he was wearing a Military Jacket. Go downtown and look at how many people wear Military clothing. In 99% of the cases that is as close as to the Military that these people will ever get.

        • Appears I touched a nerve, Winchester.. From your responses you were never in Afghanistan and probably received your benefits from a Liberal Gov’t. Our military frowns on anyone who has not worn the uniform as a member of the armed forces as Harper did when looking at the floods. As to those people who wear military garb, many do so because that’s all they can afford. And if you can afford to take a minute from your diatribes, check with some Afghanistan vets as to their compensation. I am pretty sure you were well looked after, they are not!!
          Have a nice day!!

          • No nerves touched Crow.

            He was wearing a military jacket. No big deal to me or to the majority of any others who have served unless they are a Liberal Lackey looking for something to criticize Harper.

        • He’s the Prime Minister, not Michael Jackson.

          • And your point being?

    • glad some else noticed that story…not get any mention anywhere except at Sun

    • Dude, our gov’t effed up once he was in our care. If he had been treated legally while in our care, this clusterwhoops wouldn’t be happening. It’s not impossible that could amount to compensation.

      For supposedly the toughest of the tough, these armed forces of which you claim to speak for every one apparently get their panties in a bunch over very very little. Are you implying our armed forces are stupid and don’t understand the situation, because that is unfair – there is nothing at all which suggests military types have below average intelligence.

      • Dude, your raving. Never once implied service people were stupid. On the contrary. Smarter and better trained than most people walking the streets.
        I speak for myself and my panties are not in a knot. Just disgusted that anyone would even think of compensating a Terrorist just because he was born in Canada.

        Khadr was treated legally when he came back onto Canadian soil. He got eight years and he is already eligible for day parole. He is treated the exact same way as every other inmate in the Federal system.

        • No, my first sentence stands. We were amongst the governments screwing up on the file, it is we who are at least partially responsible. The decisions on the case make this clear. Once you grasp this you can go from there.

          Until then, you just won’t get what you’re talking about.

          • Dude, you’re still raving.

          • The superior court, court of appeal and supreme court of Canada are all on my side on this one, kiddo. You re the one whose fantasy just isn’t measuring up to reality.

  6. i like to see peopel put the inflatable flat had duffy doll on the buildings at parliment hill

  7. Hey…what about Mulcair…he is after all , leader of the opposition

    • What about him?

    • Mulcair has been invisible all Summer. I guess that’s why he didn’t show up in the above piece.

  8. Basically, the whole interview was what Breaking Bad would have been like if it had been made by the CBC…


  9. Pure gold,Feschuk, pure gold.

  10. Mike Duffy had a great Summer? I guess Feschuk missed the part where the RCMP began to lay out a possible criminal case against him in the affidavit it filed at the Ottawa Courthouse. He’s in a much more vulnerable position than Wallin.

  11. This made my day, month as always! Noted is the high end clothing esp. the boots compared to the worn out sneakers on others. But attire doth not make the man and Harper looks ill at ease as he did in the combat photo wearing a helmet.

  12. Good article. What a great mix we have for politicians! I do not get why the PM thinks he needs to prorogue Parliament. Also, since smoking marijuana is a crime and Justin Trudeau admits to that crime, will he be charged for it? If he does not, how can we enforce that law on other “regular” Canadians?