Prime Minister Justin Trudeau never lets a double standard stand in the way of his Good Time Charlie dependencies.

He’s addicted to them.

“The prime minister thinks he’s entitled to his entitlements,” said the Conservatives’  Candice Bergen, stirring up the ghost of major former Liberal trough-lover David Dingwall.

“He spares no expense when he wants to be pampered and showered with luxury.”

There was, for example, the trip on which Bergen was lamenting — his dress-up blunderland stumble in February 2018 when he went to India and dazzled all with his traditional Indian dancing.

That embarrassing little costume party cost taxpayers $1.5 million.

And to think the Liberals ran the Conservatives’ Bev Oda out of town for having a $16 glass of orange juice for breakfast at London’s posh and therefore expense Savoy Hotel.

More recently, of course, there was Trudeau, Deputy PM Chrystia Freeland and 58 guests blowing $57,401.56 in catering fees while roaming around in London, Riga, Berlin, Warsaw in March.

That’s nearly a thousand bucks each. What kind of airplane sandwich costs a thousand bucks?

And whose money was that again? Well, it was the Canadian taxpayer, bien sur. It’s always the taxpayer.

And how about the newly Trudeau-appointed Governor General (GG) Mary Simon and her guests blowing nearly $100,000 of taxpayer money on a private government jet’s catering bill during their flights to and from the Middle East from March 16 to 24?

Are we talking watercress and vintage wine?

But hold your horses here because the military now says Mary Simon’s office had no role in the decisions related to a controversial catering bill for a recent official trip and to back off because steps were taken to minimize the cost of in-flight food services.

In a statement, the Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence said the catering tab for Gov. Gen. Mary Simon’s trip to the Middle East in March came in $12,750 lower than originally quoted in documents released.

The answer to a Conservative MP’s order paper inquiry revealed more than $93,000 for in-flight meals spent during an eight-day working trip that included stops in London, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait.

The military now says the actual tab came to $80,367, and to judge that as a $12,000 saving.

It was so much easier when the PM wore native East Indian clothing and pranced around a stage doing a costume imitation of a state-wise Bhamakalapam dance in order to assess the amount of financial damage to the taxpayers’ purse.

What is troubling, and therefore worrisome, is the nonchalance of those responsible for such outrageous and expensive behaviour and the fact that no one in the elite Liberal circle has taken a fall.

Nineteen bottles of wine and 15 cans of beer were served onboard the GG’s military aircraft, according to the answer to an order paper question from Conservative MP Scot Davidson.

Defence Minister Anita Anand laughingly told CBC News that “fiscal responsibility is critical.”

“I believe deeply in the importance of prudence,” said Anand. “I don’t have comment on that specific issue that you’re raising, but I will say that across the board, I believe in fiscal responsibility.”

In Question Period the day before, Conservative MP Michael Barrett took aim at the Liberal government over the catering bill.

He pointed to media reports of Canadians unable to afford groceries or air conditioning due to inflation and accused the government of operating with a sense of entitlement.

“What we’re asking from this government is to take a reality check,” said Barrett. 

“When will they put their entitlements aside and put Canadians first?”

Yes, there’s that word again.


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Mark Bonokoski is a member of the Canadian News Hall of Fame and has been published by a number of outlets – including the Toronto Sun, Maclean’s and Readers’ Digest.

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