Federal bureaucrats charge taxpayers $12,450 for luxury party
UPDATE: In response to this article, the Privy Council Office stated that all Treasury Board guidelines were followed, and that no public funds were spent on alcohol.
The Privy Council Office has billed the Canadian taxpayer $12,450 for a “Hollywood-style cocktail party,” according to Ottawa news outlet Blacklock’s Reporter.
The cocktail party intended to celebrate the “excellence” of the communications staff. As a part of this party, the taxpayer was charged for velvet ropes, red carpeting, and a master of ceremonies in a tuxedo. It was held at the Ottawa’s National Arts Centre.
Brad Penfound, who is a senior director of communication’s advisor, was particularly adamant that a red carpet was present: “I have been getting some quotes for renting red carpet and velvet ropes … We want to have a red carpet feel to the event.”
The taxpayer was billed $2,880 for a cocktail party that included expensive ham, smoked salmon, and beef.
“The total cost of the 2019 event was approximately $10,000.00, including room rental, awards, and hospitality. As this was the inaugural year for the awards, some of the initial costs (approximately $2,400.00) include items that will be re-used for several years,” said Privy Council Office spokesperson Pierre-Alain Bujold. “All Treasury Board guidelines were followed. No public funds were spent on alcohol.”
Despite the free gourmet food and party, the Privy Council was upset that the Art’s Centre served booze in plastic cups. Thankfully, however, Penfound came to the rescue, asking the Art Centre whether “it’s possible to have glass.”
Other expenses included $2,437 for communication awards and $2,712 for nine-inch crystal awards—all of which was charged to the taxpayer.
The Privy Council Office is planning to hold a second annual award ceremony on February 18, 2020.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has cancelled his trip to the Caribbean after receiving backlash online on Sunday after it was reported he was still planning to go on the trip, despite Canadian cargo and passenger trains being shut down for the greater part of two weeks.
The Canadian Press reported Sunday afternoon Trudeau was still intending to go on the trip to the Caribbean, so it appears Trudeau backed out last minute.
The Prime Minister’s Office released a press release Sunday evening, less than 24 hours before his flight was supposed to take off to Barbados.
The PMO stated that Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne will go to represent Canada instead.
Trudeau was planning to continue his world tour to try and secure Canada a seat at the United Nations Security Council.
Last week Trudeau was in Africa and Europe trying to drum up support from foreign countries for the UN vote on who will get the seat. The prime minister was criticized throughout the week, including when he indicated Canada would be willing to help develop an African country’s oil and gas sector at the same time Canadian protesters are trying to shut down parts of Alberta’s oil and gas industry. Trudeau was also criticized roundly for shaking and bowing to Iran’s foreign minister a month after the country shot down a plane killing 57 Canadians and for not returning home sooner as the #ShutDownCanada protests continued to go on unabated.
Grocery, agriculture, retail sectors have all been affected by the protests. Some major cities also receive their chlorine for water treatment from CN Rail trains, which could mean drinking water in major cities may run out. Other cities rely on getting their propane to heat homes from trains.
Via Rail predicts over 83,000 passengers were affected and over 400 trains trips were cancelled due to the protest blockades over the past two weeks.
Saturday was the final day for the petition against the Liberal gun ban that received a Canadian historical record of 174,810 signatures from angry Canadians, many of whom are law-abiding gun owners.
The Liberal government wants to ban “military assault rifles” in Canada while there is no legal definition for that type of weapon in our country, according to Public Safety Canada. The petition officially opened on Dec. 17, 2019.
If the ban were to go through, Canadian gun owners would be stripped of guns that have been legally purchased. Many Canadians do not want to allow this to happen and petition E-2341 was created as a result.
“Public safety should always be the top priority of any government. The focus therefore must be directed towards criminals who use illegal firearms and put the safety of our communities at risk.” said Conservative MP Glen Motz, who was the one to back the petition.
“Canada’s legal firearms owners are among the most scrutinized in Canadian society. Nonetheless, they are the target of a misguided Liberal plan determined to make criminals out of them with a proposed ban on ‘military-style assault rifles’. As we know, there is no legal definition for ‘military-style assault rifles’ in Canada.”
“The use of this term is a deliberate, politically motivated attempt by the Liberals to misinform Canadians and seeks to target certain firearms without a rational basis. If the government is referring to military grade firearms, those capable of firing multiple rounds with a single pull of the trigger (fully automatic) and with large capacity magazines, they are already prohibited in Canada and have been for decades. Firearms should be classified by what they can do, not by how they look.”
Minister of Public Safety Bill Blair previously estimated that the buyback program that has been suggested would cost anywhere from $400 to $600 million. Blair’s office did not respond to request for comment from The Post Millennial. Previously Blair’s office told TPM the Liberals ban would not target hunters, but did not specify what guns would be on the list.
The bulk of the petitions votes came from Ontario with over 56,000. Alberta and B.C. also provided a large number of votes with 37,500 in Alberta and 34,300 in BC.
The Trudeau government has said that they will not revoke $372.5 million that they gave to Bombardier, even after the corporation said it is leaving commercial aviation, according to Blacklock’s Reporter.
The Liberal Minister for Industry Navdeep Bains said in a statement that “Our government has been steadfast in its support for the Canadian aerospace industry and its workers … we will continue to engage with all relevant parties to ensure that previous commitments are honoured.”
The Trudeau government gave an intrest-free loan of $372.5 million to Bombardier in 2017 to help with their production of the C-series aircraft. Soon after this, Bombardier cut 14,500 jobs, sold a majority of the C-series aircraft shares, and moved the production of the aircraft to Alabama.
Despite the huge redundancies, Bombardier executives saw it fit to grant themselves a 48 percent pay raise for six senior managers. These raises, however, were soon revoked after protests and condemnation.
Despite government support, Bombardier managed to lose $1.6 billion last year.
Speaking in the Senate, Conservative Senator Leo Housakos said that “The terms of the agreement were not fully disclosed to Parliament or the public … we still don’t know today if that $400 million was a grant or a loan, or when it will be repaid.”
Liberal Minister Navdeep Bains’ Department of Industry managed to create “zero” jobs for a $1 billion subsidy according to an internal document obtained by Blacklock’s Reporter.
Much of this comes down to a lack of order in the Department of Industry. They did not fill in what they considered to be unnecessary data brackets: these being, “estimated jobs created,” “estimated jobs maintained,” and “actual jobs created.”
Justin Trudeau’s cabinet created this program in 2017, where they spent $950 million with a promise that they would create some 50,000 new Canadian jobs. Another $918 million was spent in 2018 under the same program.
As a result of the Department of Industry not recording data, it is impossible to know how many of these 50,000 jobs were actually created.
Minister Navdeep Bains said that this program would “equip Canadians with the skills they need for the jobs of today and tomorrow … this investment in innovation will create those jobs.”
The Liberal’s promise of 50,000 new jobs has come under much scrutiny by the Conservative Party and the NDP.
Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner, for instance, criticized the government, saying that “little government analysis has been made available to parliamentarians regarding the measurable outcomes of these dollars.”
In a separate case, Minister Navdeep Bains faced similar scrutiny after he said 56,000 jobs would be created with a $1 billion loan in 2019. In reality, the Liberal government only managed to create 6,613 jobs.