Recently, a scandal involving the moving expenses of two of Prime Minister Trudeau's most trusted inner circle surfaced. It cost taxpayers $200,000 to move these two staffers 500 kilometers up the 401. It reminds me of when I helped former deputy speaker Joe Comartin move out of his apartment in Ottawa.
The recent revelations that Conservative Party leadership candidate Kellie Leitch has been consulting conservatives around the country about whether we need to screen newcomers to our country for "anti-Canadian values" prior to permitting them entry is both disappointing and, unfortunately, not surprising.
He won't talk about his government's non-progressive policies, but man does he ever look good with his shirt off. This calculation is duplicitous; it showcases an accessible leader but one with little time to get into the specifics of the policies that run counter to Trudeau's reputation of a real progressive. It is the best of Trudeau, it is the worst of Trudeau, and until his gushing fans and the complicit media start doing their jobs by demanding transparency, we will be stuck having to tolerate both.
As a member of the Ontario Medical Association's negotiating committee, I find it disappointing to read the misinformation circulating about the tentative Physician Services Agreement (PSA) now before Ontario's doctors. To say misinformation is to be kind. Some of the information being put out there is just, quite frankly, untrue.
They outsource services to the U.S. -- services that now cost more than they would if provided here. They waste much-needed health-care dollars on bureaucracy and failed ventures. They ignore ordinary people as they die on ballooning wait lists. They offer Band-Aid solutions to complex problems. This is not acceptable.
Time and time again the issue of the First Nations housing crisis makes it into the media. And every time I see it I ask myself why things aren't done right the first time. The mouldy, boarded up, plastic-covered shacks are literally third-world, yet they are considered housing rather than something to be bulldozed.
Today, the political landscape has changed. We have a government that promised to conduct public hearings on several issues and to listen attentively to the demands of the population. Nevertheless, when it comes to solid gestures and courageous actions, there seems no political appetite to tackle Bill C-51.
The Liberal government was going to allow the abeyance on the Equitas lawsuit -- the court case in which the government has been arguing the "moral obligation" they have to soldiers maimed in war -- to run out. The biggest piece of the Liberal party platform and mandate letter was the reestablishment of life-long pension, and now they are going to court to argue against it.
The idea that one group of children must be tossed aside for another is flawed and harmful. The problem of wait lists for autism therapy is simply one of government spending priorities. The only reason every single child with autism cannot immediately receive IBI is because the government is not immediately investing enough money for them to do so. But aren't the Liberals investing $333 million? Why isn't that enough?
The Trudeau government's first budget offered hope but little change on increasing the CPP in our lifetime. After extolling the virtues of the Canada Pension Plan, we're told that the finance ministers talked about enhancing the CPP last December and set a goal of making a collective decision before the end of 2016.
Something got lost in all this childish behaviour, especially once Tom Mulcair transitioned from apparently laughing at Trudeau losing his cool to losing his own cool and screaming that the Prime Minister was "pathetic" for accidentally elbowing NDP MP Ruth Ellen Brosseau in the chest... What got lost was the bill they were debating, Bill C-14, the government's assisted-dying legislation. And it fell further from prominence once the NDP, the party that allegedly wants to make this bill better, saw an opportunity to use the accident as political leverage against the Prime Minister and perhaps for their own leadership ambitions.
Don't forget, way back in January 2014 Trudeau said about Kinder Morgan, "I certainly hope that we're going to be able to get that pipeline approved." Unless we make things uncomfortable for him politically, the prime minister will force this pipeline through our communities against our will -- the public's will.
When the Progressive Conservatives and the NDP agree on something, the issue must transcend ideology. On Tuesday the PCs, supported by their opposition colleagues, will move that the Ontario government restore funding for Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI) therapy for children five years of age and over.