Trudeau takes private jet for vacation while Boris Johnson flies economy
The Daily Mail is reporting that U.K Prime Minister Boris Johnson saved British taxpayers “tens of thousands” by opting to fly economy class for his recent holiday in St. Lucia with his girlfriend Carrie Symonds.
According to the Daily Mail, “the cost of the flight would have cost in the region of £1323 each, significantly less than if the Prime Minister had used an RAF private jet – which would more likely weigh in at around £100,000.”
In contrast, Justin Trudeau opted for the much more expensive option of a private jet for his recent Costa Rica getaway.
Social media users were quick to point out the difference in approach between Johnson and Trudeau:
The National Post’s Chris Selley quipped, “Boris Johnson flies commercial to St. Lucia, the Daily Mail reports, but Canadians know this is impossible. Prime Ministers cannot fly commercial, ever, under any circumstances. #fakenews”
Mark Towhey, Editor-in-chief of Sun News chimed in, tweeting, “This is what you get when you elect a poor bastard who doesn’t know any billionaires with private islands and helicopters. Silly Brits.”
This isn’t the first time Trudeau has gotten in trouble for his extravagent vacation tastes. In 2016, Trudeau took his now infamous Bahamas trip to Aga Khan’s private island resort, a trip that violated ethics rules. Estimates put the cost of that trip in at over 215,000 dollars.
The price tag of Trudeau’s most recent private jet vacation is yet to be tallied.
The rule of law is one of the most important legal principles on which Canada is based. Along with the supremacy of God, it is mentioned in the very first words of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: “Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law.”
The rule of law means that we are ruled by laws, not by the whims of a King, or the clamouring of a mob. The rule of law also means that the law applies to everyone, even the King; there can be no exemptions for the King or his favourites.
Countries which practice and uphold the rule of law tend to thrive economically, socially, politically and culturally. Countries which uphold the rule of law become wealthy because people can work, buy, sell and trade in the knowledge that their property and their person are protected by law. Economies thrive when people know that the law will be enforced, and that the law will be applied to everyone, even to the King and his favourites. The rule of law provides investors, foreign and domestic, with confidence to invest their money in business projects.
Conversely, when a country condones law-breaking, investors will put their money elsewhere, and quickly. The world’s poorest and most violent countries are those where politicians are above the law, and the law is not applied equally to all.
The decisions of Canada’s politicians and police to condone–for three weeks or longer–the blockading of railway lines by aggrieved protesters violate the rule of law in at least two ways.
First, our politicians are effectively stating that individuals with strongly held political opinions are entitled to engage in illegal activities, in this case shutting down railway lines. Second, law-breaking is permitted because Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other politicians sympathize with the protesters’ ideology and demands: the law does not apply to the King’s favourites.
What if a group of taxpayers, fed up with losing half of their earnings to three levels of government, occupied a federal government building in Ottawa? What if a bunch of pro-lifers interfered with access to an abortion clinic in Toronto? What if a contingent of Western separatists blockaded the Burrard Street Bridge in Vancouver? In all three cases, you can be sure the authorities would very quickly remove the obstructing protesters, even if the protest methods were entirely peaceful. Politicians and police would say: “You have a right to express your opinions, but preventing other people from going about their business is illegal.” Members of these three hypothetical cohorts would be lucky to get off with a warning; the blockading pro-lifers would almost certainly be prosecuted for breaking the law.
Politicians repudiate the rule of law in Canada when they elevate the concerns of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs to a superior legal status, as more worthy than the concerns of other Canadians. This is not a comment for or against the legitimacy of the demands of Wet’suwet’en chiefs. Applying the rule of law means that everyone, regardless of political orientation or ideological conviction, must be held to account when breaking the law. Everyone, or almost everyone, has strongly felt moral convictions about various political issues, including taxation, abortion, climate change, and aboriginal rights. Depth of emotion and strength of conviction should not trump the rule of law. If we respect the rule of law, then either everybody is entitled to blockade railway lines, or nobody is.
Yet in Canada the standard is a double one. When inflicting serious damage on thousands of people by blocking railway lines in the name of an aboriginal cause, one can expect to get a phone call from the prime minister, eager to have a conversation. Why? Because of his known sympathy to aboriginal causes. Yet if anti-tax protesters, Western separatists or pro-lifers broke the law, would any of them get invited to tea with the prime minister?
The consequences of repudiating the rule of law are predictable. Rewarding law-breakers with an invitation to discuss their grievances will encourage more law-breaking in future. Investors will stop putting their money into projects and businesses in Canada. Law-abiding citizens will become apathetic and cynical regarding the bias and incompetence of their governments. Failing to enforce laws when they are broken by a politically favoured group will cause all Canadians to have less respect for all laws. Favouring some people because they have the “correct” political convictions is a sure way to destroy social cohesion and incite mistrust amongst citizens.
Upholding the rule of law will certainly result in some negative publicity, when radical or extremist groups distribute video-footage of screaming protesters getting arrested and carried off into paddy wagons. Canada and its police will be denounced aggressively as “fascist” and worse, just for upholding the rule of law. But nothing is free. The long-term costs of repudiating the rule of law are far higher than the short-term costs of some nasty name-calling.
The Premier of Quebec has expressed his concern of Prime Minister Trudeau’s handling of the anti-pipeline protestors at the National Assembly, Tuesday.
“[Mr. Trudeau] wants it to be done in peace. We agree with that, but there must be results and, for the moment, the situation has become very dramatic for the Quebec economy,” said Mr. Legault told the press. The federal government must resolve the crisis in the short term, in “the next few days,” he said otherwise the situation will only get worse.
In particular, the Premier of Quebec says he is worried that the Port of Montreal will no longer be able to receive new goods because there will be no space to store them. Legault also expressed concerns that stores may soon start to run out of certain items according to Le Journal de Quebec.
“We are losing control. I don’t want to fall back into the propane crisis with the farmers, I don’t want people to be unable to take off from planes because there is no more fuel,” said François Legault.
Justin Trudeau has been the subject of much criticism for being abroad while the country was at an impasse. Trudeau has stated that he would like all parties involved to remain “patient” until a peaceful resolution can be reached.
The Minister of Indigenous Services Marc Miller and the Mohawks of Tyendinaga, Ontario held a meeting at a local community centre for many hours although they have not released much details on what their conversations entailed.
Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer was not invited to a Liberal-led meeting of opposition parties after comments made earlier Tuesday.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reportedly invited Bloc Quebecois Leader Blanchet, Green Leader Elizabeth May, and New Democrat Leader Jagmeet Singh.
According to Green Leader Elizabeth May, Scheer was excluded from the meeting because of the “speech that Mr. Scheer gave following the prime minister’s statement was viewed as disqualifying him from participation in a discussion on how to find solutions.”
When Trudeau himself was asked about the matter, he confirmed that it was Scheer’s statements earlier that he deemed “unacceptable speech.”
Jagmeet Singh also called Scheer’s speech “reprehensible” and “divisive,” saying that the comments were “designed to pit some groups against another.”
The Conservative Party Leader did, in fact, have some strong words for Trudeau—though whether or not they were what other party leaders are calling them is up for debate.
Scheer had heavily criticized Trudeau’s inaction over the anti-pipeline blockades, calling them “the weakest response to a national crisis in Canadian history.”
“Let me be clear Mr. Speaker, standing between our country and prosperity is a small group of radical activists, many of whom have little to no connection to First Nations communities. A bunch of radical activists who won’t rest until our oil and gas industry is entirely shut down,” said Scheer.
“Now they may have the luxury of not having to go to work every day. They may have the luxury of not facing repercussions for skipping class, but they are blockading our ports, our railways, and our borders and roads and highways. They are appropriating an Indigenous agenda which they are willfully misrepresenting.”
Trudeau responded to the comments in the House of Commons later on Tuesday afternoon, explaining that it was the CPC’s deliberate misunderstanding of reconciliation that was behind the exclusion.
“The Conservative Party of Canada continues to demonstrate that it willfully and deliberately tries to misunderstand the reality of reconciliation in this country, and that is why they were excluded from a constructive conversation on how to move forward as a country on the path of reconciliation,” said Trudeau.
When asked by Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchett about if there was any timeline in place for the removal of protestors, Trudeau stated that the government was willing to meet with Wet’suwet’en to find a solution, again giving no details.
If you reward something, you get more of it.
If you punish something, you get less of it.
It’s one of the most basic precepts of human nature, and it should be the bare minimum level of knowledge a government official possesses in the execution of their duties.
It’s the entire reason we have laws.
We punish behaviour that is illegal, in order to discourage that illegal behaviour.
Of course, no system is perfect, and we don’t want a “perfect system”, particularly not in a democracy.
But it has to work most of the time, particularly when the illegality is obvious and potentially damaging to the entire nation.
And when it comes to “rewards”, often the reward is in the elevation and respect of those who act in a way that helps that country and makes Canada a better place.
That’s what the majority of community members and the ELECTED Wet’suwet’en Chiefs were doing when they worked to get a good deal for their community, approved the Coastal GasLink pipeline, and worked to help encourage jobs and prosperity.
They followed the rules. They worked for the good of their community.
And what did they get in return?
They got betrayed by Justin Trudeau and the Liberals.
Meanwhile, the radical blockaders–many of whom don’t even represent the Wet’suwet’en community–broke the laws, are damaging Canada’s economy, and are ignoring repeated court injunctions.
In short, they broke the rules, and they’re working against the good of their community.
And what did they get in return?
They got rewarded, by Justin Trudeau and the Liberals.
Trudeau has elevated them, offered meetings, sent a Minister to talk to them, and has in effect given them control over the country by refusing to enforce the rule of law.
Now, as you read at the top of this article, when you reward something you get more of it, and when you punish something you get less of it.
And the consequences are clear:
Trudeau has shown that illegal protests will be rewarded with a gain of status and an ability to meet with government leaders.
Trudeau has also shown that the majority of community members who followed the rules and followed the laws will be ignored and betrayed, with their majority voices drowned out by the more extremist minority.
As a result, Canada can expect more and more illegal protests, while fewer communities will choose to follow the law.
You can already imagine what a massive disaster that will be.