Over the last couple of weeks, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been dogged by questions from reporters and politicos alike.
The issue has been that Trudeau decided to take a private helicopter to a private island owned by a person whom lobbies the government for funding.
This person is the Aga Khan.
First, let me say, this was obviously poor judgement on behalf of the prime minister and a case of its easier to ask forgiveness than permission.
Our laws clearly articulate that the ethics commissioner should be consulted prior to receiving a gift of this magnitude to ensure there is no conflict of interest and when we receive gifts as public servants, they must be reported to the ethics commissioner.
Unfortunately, the prime minister has failed to follow the laws that govern public service and the “higher ethical standard” that he once campaigned on.
And while all this frustrates me as a taxpayer, as a public servant and as citizen, the part that makes me most upset is that somehow the prime minister has managed to change the focus of our political debate in this country from how to get Canadians working and restoring lost manufacturing jobs, to where and how he took his last vacation.
I completely agree that it is bizarre that somehow families whom earn well under $100,000 a year can pay for their vacations by themselves, but somehow, the prime minister, whom earns more than $340,000, can’t pay for his own.
However, I want our government to focus on getting Canadians back to work.
In 2016, there were over 150,000 part-time jobs created and only 60,000 full-time.
In each of the previous two years, 150,000 full-time jobs had been created, so 2016 is a major disappointment.
Manufacturing, which is a major local employer, also took a hard hit last year, losing 53,000 jobs year over year.
All of these results are prior to the major tax cuts and potential trade issues with the Donald Trump administration.
I implore the prime minister and his team to follow our laws, and focus on the thing that matters more than anything else to Canadian families: job security.
I know we can do better.