So let it be written…
Can you see the French connection here? Justin Trudeau and Marie Antoinette?
The latter, of course, lost her head. Has the former lost his mind?
During the French Revolution, circa 1793, the French queen earned the hostile moniker Madame Déficit from commoners who blamed the nation’s economic crisis on her majesty’s reckless spending. Her famously infamous comment, upon learning that the peasants had no bread to eat, was “Let them eat cake.”
Will this prime minister’s be “Let them read tweet?”
Horrified critics roundly smote Trudeau in both social media and ink this past week after he‘d sent his ‘aren’t-I-a-cool-guy’ tweet to late-night American television talk show host Trevor Noah, saying he was sorry he couldn’t be in South Africa with him to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s legacy and then pledging $50 million for something called Education Cannot Wait, as though he were chucking two-bits into a charity kettle outside his neighbourhood liquor store.
“Work for you?” the prime minister tweeted. “Let’s do it.”
Hey @Trevornoah – thanks for everything you’re doing to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s legacy at the @GlblCtzn festival. Sorry I can’t be with you – but how about Canada pledges $50M to @EduCannotWait to support education for women & girls around the world? Work for you? Let’s do it.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) December 2, 2018
This is not about the merits of a program whose purpose, as Trudeau’s tweet indicates, is to “support education for women & girls around the world.”
It is, however, all about how he presented this gesture, in a tone as though that enormous sum of money is a product of his own personal munificence rather than its being ripped from the pockets of Canadian taxpayers. In a tone suggesting he enjoys an emperor’s prerogative to do what he will with the public purse, without accountability and entirely at whim.
This is a trend. I’ll note that only three weeks into his job Trudeau pledged, again seemingly off the cuff, a cool $2.65 billion to help poorer countries combat the effects of climate change. That was in 2015. Today, his government is the subject of a class-action lawsuit charging that it has infringed on Canadian youths’ “fundamental rights” for not doing enough to avoid dangerous climate change here.
This column is one among plenty aimed at Trudeau’s off-the-hook spending. Just google “Trudeau overspending,” and you’ll see. This tweet of his is further evidence suggesting this prime minister regards us more so as walking ATMs than hard-working citizens – millions of us – who are trying to keep our heads above water in a country that’s struggling with its own child poverty, homelessness, unaffordable housing and other social problems.
Where is the respect for Canadian taxpayers’ contributions, Mr. Trudeau? Where was the thoughtful, responsible due process and consideration for Canadians’ money – ours, not yours – before you fired off that tweet?
If, for argument’s sake, this $50 million had already been earmarked for the charity through proper hoops and channels, then you’d have to wonder why it was later pledged in such an insouciant, immature way in a 48-word tweet?
Can’t explain away this one.
So, I challenge our local Liberal MPs: How can you justify your leader’s carefree approach to this country’s finances in the face of human misery in your own ridings?
After Trudeau’s tweet, if I ever hear a Liberal MP say there’s not enough money for any remotely reasonable Surrey project, really, I think I’ll yark.
So let it be done.
Tom Zytaruk is a staff writer with the Now-Leader. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org