12.01.2015 11:00 AM

Phoney expressions of outrage happening in five…four…three…


  1. Matt says:

    Outrage? No.

    But this is why people might care:

    “The disclosure comes after an election campaign where Trudeau repeatedly attacked the Conservatives’ enhanced universal child care benefit, or UCCB, and income splitting for families, arguing rich families like his and former prime minister Stephen Harper’s didn’t need taxpayers’ help.”

      • robadair says:

        With respect, it is only a “fair point” if we allow ourselves to continue ignoring the obvious distinctions. During the campaign Trudeau referred to program spending for the benefit of a large segment of Canadian citizens; in this context, he said that wealthy people and high income earners, like himself (a Member of Parliament with a sizable inheritance fund) and the Prime Minister (PM Salary and total compensation package including pension is “platinum plated” as the old Reform Party would say) should not collect.

        As far as I know, neither Trudeau nor Harper have benefited from the programs he mentioned to which he referred when he said their families “do not require taxpayers’ help.” True.

        However, Trudeau is now Prime Minister of Canada, and with this position and responsibility to public service, the care and security of the pre-school and school age children is essential. I would hazard a guess: none of the funds used for the care and security of the Prime Minister’s children, including full-time staff, comes from any of the programs mentioned by Trudeau.

        Optics? Perception? Well, only if you like getting your panties in a knot over nothing.

        On another somewhat related note:

        Premier Notley’s release of her government’s Climate Leadership Plan had unintended consequences to the daily average temperature in Alberta as it rose a few degrees due to all the Chicken Littles scampering around in all directions with their hair on fire (for a second there, I thought the Calgary Flames had scored a home game goal!).

        I can’t wait for some adult conversations about public policy now that Harper and the Kids In Short Pants have left with their sycophant entourage in tow.

        • Scotian says:


          You nailed it right on the head. He has these nannies not because of his wealth, but because of his job. Yes, it is taxpayer dollars paying for it, but his job is a public sector job, so exactly who else is going to be paying for anything to do with it? Private and/or corporate sponsorship? Which of course would open the door for influence peddling/meddling issues and so forth, so this has to be one of those fundamental elements that comes with the job for those that fit the criteria, period. This is not the same thing as the child care subsidies being contrasted to, and it is a fundamentally dishonest comparison to try and equate the two since the ONLY thing they have in common is that the source of the funds is the taxpayer, everything else about them is quite different, as you so properly noted in your reply to Warren Kinsella.


          People might care if they do not think this through, or are spun this as being somehow the same thing by Trudeau’s critics and political opponents/enemies (I use enemies because for some on the hard right they do not see opponents, they see enemies, it is part of the problem with them, and it was the mindset Harper ran his CPC with). It is not though truly a fair comparison, because the reason Trudeau is getting this service is because of the position he now holds, same reason he gets security services, privates residence rent free, and so forth. It is to make sure he is able to do the job he is supposed to do and be free of things that would worry/distract him from that 24/7 position, being our head of government. When I was critical of Harper, it was never over the legitimate expenses of his office like things such as this, and this is an example of that in the case of Trudeau, and the fact that Trudeau was campaigning against the need for wealthy families like his own to need the childcare program money is in no way undercut by his current situation, because this isn’t being paid from that program, and is a valid expense for a PM with small children. This isn’t about his wealth, it is about his office/position, and the two are a fundamentally different basis for this argument.

          That this could well be turned into an issue shows a few things I dislike about our current political reality. First off, that so many people are too ignorant of basic distinctions such as this and can be made to believe there is a contradiction/hypocrisy here when there is not. Secondly, that political opponents know this ignorance is out there and are fine pandering to it for partisan purposes despite the fact that the more this sort of thing happens the less informed our citizenry becomes which makes having real debate on real issues with real weight harder and harder to have, because this ignorance grows and people become more and more distrustful of those making arguments on the various sides because of the willingness to play to this sort of dishonesty for partisan points. I’m not BTW saying you are doing so or are planning on it, this comment is not aimed at anyone here specifically when it comes to it, I am just noting something I really dislike in general that this example illustrates.

          I’m fine with honest criticism and for calling out real issues of hypocrisy and scandal when they happen with Trudeau, we are supposed to hold our public office holders to that kind of scrutiny. This though simply does not rise to that threshold, and anyone that tries to make it so that clearly has some basic political knowledge/awareness so as to understand this distinction and core difference in this argument, well they are the type of politician/journalist that helps corrode public trust in not just government but politics more generally, and I do not in any way exempt any media sources on this either. We have got to stop with this trivializing and blurring of lines so much and trying to make everything overly simplistic, it may make for good spin/rhetorical flourishing, but it makes for lousy dealing with reality as it is all around.

          • DougM says:

            This is politics and politics is often about optics. Right or wrong, the optics of this given the recent campaign are “I’m entitled to my entitlements”. As of right now that CBC article has over 6700 comments with the top “liked” one being “The Liberals are back.”

          • Ray says:

            Scott, you’d find a reason to heap praise on JT’s ability to multi-task if ran over an old lady while texting & driving. Good grief, man…your loyalty is commendable, but it’s bordering on sycophantic obsession. But please….do continue!

          • Montréalaise says:

            ” He has these nannies not because of his wealth, but because of his job.” No, he and his wife had two nannies long before he became PM (and even though his wife repeatedly said she was a stay-at-home mom) so it definitely is about the fact that he is very wealthy. He paid for the nannies then, so why are taxpayers suddenly expected to pick up the tab?

      • MississaugaPeter says:

        Déjà vu?

        Alison Redford part deux?

        Does the Chief of Staff also get government funded nannies? What about Ministers, parliamentary secretaries, MPs?

        Not the first case of hypocrisy. Less than a month after getting elected:


        “The Liberal government, elected on platform that pledged to ban partisan advertising, is set to launch …”

        Aren’t we lucky we have a majority? Aren’t we lucky the Opposition are and will continue to lick their wounds until mid-2016?

        Third hypocrisy:

        Stating MPs would have more power in a Liberal Government. Not much power when the House of Commons is open for just one week in who knows how many months.

        Fact: 2015 Canadian Democracy (House of Commons) will sit the second fewest number of days in a calendar year since 1968 (1993 was less).

        • MississaugaPeter says:

          Who paid for the nanny’s flights/rooms/food/Louvre admissions? Did they accompany Trudeau on all his other trips?

          If you are prime minister and do not need a nanny, do you get paid more in another way?

          I know I would also like a masseuse if I was prime minister, should Canadian taxpayers pay for that? And should they be brought along on all trips?

          How many other premiers and prime ministerial staff had nannies in tow in Paris?

          Trudeau gives a whole new definition to Entourage.

          • Rod says:

            The nannies are part of the household staff. So presumably if you did not need nannies you could have more to spend on other household staff. I guess a massusse would be an option, but only if you are an NDP PM and only if you opt for the happy ending.

          • Curt says:

            Hey Pete,
            Two observations.
            How old were mr. Harper’s children when he became PM?
            I do not recall any Nanny for them but at that time Alberta wasn’t a nanny province unlike……..
            Who were those Nannies for?
            Bad attempt at humour all around.

          • MississaugaPeter says:

            The problem is I know a few of the them, and feel pretty comfortable in saying that there will be quite a bit of sucking of the public teat by both the elected and unelected folks. Again, not saying that the Conservatives were different, but how quickly it is occurring is crazy. I read that the nanny’s pay was retroactive to the day after the election. Also, is two nannies common in Canada among the affluent? Is there also a butler and an under butler and first footman too?

            Humourous comments, Rod and Curt, although a little offside.

  2. A. Voter says:

    Didn’t Trudeau say all families shouldn’t be treated equally when it comes to government family subsidies? Didn’t he campaign saying higher income earners should pay more income tax? I guess it’s easy to take those stands when the taxpayer picks up the bill for your nannies. And how many families have more than one nanny? It isn’t phony outrage to see the hypocrisy and one percent privilege.

  3. P. Brenn says:

    more importantly is there gender equality ie a male nan and a female nanny ..and who gets the night shift….

  4. godot10 says:

    I’d have no problem with the taxpayer paid nannies for Trudeau’s children, except I distinctly remember him saying over and over and over during that campaign that families like his (and Harper’s) did NOT need government to take care of their children. He made it an issue with his campaign rhetoric.

    And not one nanny, but two, around the clock.

  5. Ted H says:

    I say “so what”. His isn’t a typical rich family leading a private life where he would certainly pay for his own child care. He is the Prime Minister (suck that up Conservative echo chamber) and the security details paid for by the taxpayer are certainly astronomically higher than the cost of the nannies. Stephen Harper used his Prime Ministerial security to keep reporters away from him when he was on the campaign trail when all expenses should have been the responsibility of the Conservative Party, not the taxpayer. Stephen Harper used government jets to fly his friends to hockey games. Let’s please dispense with the phoney outrage over this issue when the previous government abused taxpayers money to an extraordinary degree.

  6. lou says:

    I am no fan of the PM, but c’mon man. Obviously due to his extensive selfie tour, someone has to watch the kids. As with the refugee “promise”, he will soon learn that it’s easy to promise, and hard to accomplish. Cut them some slack. If his past holds true, he’ll quit this job in a couple of years anyway.

    • Jack D says:

      “If his past holds true, he’ll quit this job in a couple of years anyway.”

      Today, in the Fantasies of Conservatives: Trudeau simply walks away from being PM for 3 years and Conservatives increase their seat count to 338.

      Meanwhile, in the alternative reality of these hermits, Stephen Harper still holds the office of PM and the “barbaric cultural practices hotline” has taken off with huge success in a country free of Niqabs and Trudeau’s.

  7. Kevin T. says:

    How about if it is capped at what Harper’s personal make-up person was paid?

    • Doug says:

      The Conservative party paid for the stylists out of their own funds.

      • Kevin T. says:

        Nice helmet hair though.

      • Ted H says:

        I seriously doubt that but even if it is true they didn’t get value for money.

        • Doug says:

          Yeah it was still a little slippery with the fact Political parties are largely funded by tax credited donations, but optics maybe slighty better that this. As for the style I can only agree, I actually have hair kind of like Harper’s that is immovable and just sticks there like a toupee, only solution is to get it cut pretty short on a regular basis.

          • Ted H says:

            Hey Doug, how about letting it get a bit long? That was part of the problem with SH’s image, he looked so straight, right out of the 50’s.

  8. cs says:

    this is such a non issue, oh but yes the conservatives are now screaming about tax waste. All this while bigger issues get ignored in the media. My guess is the Trudeaus will probably end up paying for the fulltime nanny care out of pocket, submit it as tax writeoff and move on. But really the PM and his family should get help, didnt harpers kids have security detail? Didnt the Harper family get hair products paid for, didnt the harpers get jets and other perks, lol I love how that was never brought up in the news.

    • Cory says:

      Harper’s stylist was all over the news at the time and was paid for by the party (maybe not initially though).

      • cynical says:

        Paid for by the party = paid for by the taxpayer, at one remove. Or [retty nearly, considering the tax benefits of political donations.

        The cost of these caregivers is noise, compared to the other costs of supporting a PM in office. There will be lots of opportunity to take justified offence as the mandate wears on.

    • nobonus4nonis says:

      get used to it. the con press will gin up every trudeau hiccup into full on benghazi fox style every chance they get. the non stop refugee coverage is nauseating and the republicons are loving it. makes them think mistakes were made but not by them.

  9. Jack D says:

    The outrage started longtime ago.

    I wonder where all these people where when the PM flew his homies (and all their homies) to Israel for an all-exlusive, taxpayer funded, vacation. *Moneyshot*

    Or where these people were when Ben Harper got shit-faced at 24 Sussex on his b-day and some teenage girl ended up having to leave on a stretcher.

    Or when the PMO and Pierre Poillevre starting shooting and producing their own vanity videos (porn for Conservatives) at the expense of the taxpayer –that no one watched.

    These infuriated troglodytes currently consumed by indignation were all mysteriously silent when the Conservatives trampled all over the line between personal/partisan and government expenses. Yet, when the Trudeau’s hire a nanny for their young children… jeezus; gather the pitchfork mob and start marching. Really, the amount of money the Conservatives wasted on asinine things while they were in government absolutely absolves the Trudeau’s for not paying for a nanny out of their own pocket.

    • billg says:

      Its a CBC report, cant remember them being “silent” on anything Mr Harper or the Cons did.
      And absolving yourself because the other guy did it 4 years ago never really works out come election time

      • Jack D says:

        Not necessarily so. The Conservatives did it for nearly a decade and with the exception of 2015, when the tread official ran out on those tires, just blaming the Liberals for Chretian/Martin era mistakes helped them out in every election. So politically speaking, its doable to certain extent.

        As for the article, I’m aware the CBC are the ones reporting it but I was referring to those who have picked the article up and run with it; using it to call the Trudeau’s disgusting. Its those very people who would vehemently oppose such use of taxpayer dollars but would slip into a coma when it the same thing took place under Stephen Harper.

        Personally, I would prefer the Trudeau’s spent out of their own pocket on this matter just given how it optically isn’t great. However, after seeing the opportunistic faux outrage by some I sincerely hope this nanny gets a raise at the expense of taxpayers. Such hypocritical indignation should not be rewarded.

      • Ray says:

        Remember when Steve dared shake his son’s hand whien dropping him off at school?

        That outrage lasted for a month.

  10. billg says:

    The only thing stopping Canada from bringing in 25,000 refugee’s by years end was “political will”, that’s what JT said on the campaign trail.
    He also said family’s like his and Mr Harper’s didn’t need taxpayers help with child care, that was on the campaign trail too.
    Do I care? Not really.
    But, 4 years isn’t really that far away and these “little cuts” leave scars.

  11. Sean says:

    This cabinet held a formal vote on hiring nannies, but still cannot make up its mind on whether or not Canada should continue to bomb a foreign country.

  12. Greyapple says:

    You know, I’ll risk the backlash I think will come from this question; does Mrs. Trudeau have a job? I can’t recall hearing of her having one.

    If not, why does she and her husband need full time nannies? And if they need nannies, why can they (two millionaires, with Justin raking in a +300k PM salary), pay for nannies out of their own pocket?

    Minor issue, hardly a scandal, but lousy optics, especially given his campaign rhetoric against the Conservative and NDP child care plans.

    • Anonymoose says:

      Does Mr. Ambrose have a job? I can’t recall hearing of him having one.

      If not, why does Rona and her husband need full time gardeners, chefs, drivers, etc? And if they need gardeners, why can’t they millionaires, (with Rona raking in a +300k Leader of the Opposition salary, free room and board, chefs etc. ), pay for gardeners out of their own pocket? Maybe her husband could stay home and mow the grass. They could save more money by taking a taxi to work.

      Minor issue, hardly a scandal, but lousy optics, especially given the Conservative Party campaign rhetoric of fiscal Conservativism (whatever that means).

  13. Anonymoose says:

    Regardless of the optics, paying for the nannies is the cheaper option for Canadians. Trudeau could pay out of his pocket to send them to daycare, but then the Canadian taxpayer would be on the hook for the salaries of at least three bodyguards for the kids. I wonder how much it cost over the years to have bodyguards watch over the Harper kids as they went about their day.

  14. Liam Young says:

    This is a disgusting story and shows that the so-called ‘left-wing media’ (all run by rabid conservatives, including the CBC) has reached it’s ‘Jump the Shark’ moment and will continue to stoop low to embarrass the new PM. Seriously: caring for kids of the PM is a front page issue? How about the kiss of death of Conservative rule anywhere in Canada? Anyone? Anyone? Didn’t think so.

    So CBC, PostMedia, Quebecor, Bell, Rogers: you’re all DONE.

  15. ottlib says:

    What are the Conservatives and their friends in the media to do?

    The Paris attacks gave them a gift wrapped baseball bat to use against the Liberal plans for refugees and withdrawing Canada’s F-18s but the Liberals polling numbers actually went up. (By 10 points over election night)

    So, time to find something else to bitch about, although this is rather thin gruel if you ask me. It is a simple reality of the office that the PM’s wife has responsibilities beyond just being a wife and mother. She may sometimes need to we away with or without the PM. So, nannies are a necessity.

    Although I am certain that Stephen Harper, when his kids were still too young to be left alone, just hired a young person from the 24 Sussex neighbourhood when him and his wife had to go out for official business. Yep, some local 13 year old whom Mr. Harper paid $8 bucks an hour, plus unlimited television and refrigerator privileges.

  16. dean sherratt says:

    Why does Canada have to reinvent the wheel after every election? Is Justin the first Prime Minister with young children? Surely there is a precedent for how this expense has been treated in the past. My own thought is fine…the PM has duties and it is a good thing to ensure that he is able to perform his functions. But why do I need to think or opine about this unless this is a change in how we handled things in the past.

    Thinking of PMs with young children…I did have a moment’s pause:

    King: definitely not
    St. Laurent: Not for many decades
    Diefenbaker: Not to speak of…
    Pearson: Too late
    Trudeau: Bingo!
    Joe Clark: Yes
    Turner: Nope
    Mulroney: I think so…
    Kim Campbell: Nope
    Jean Chretien: Not for some time
    Martin: Ditto
    Harper: School age…
    Justin Trudeau: three…

    …so there should be a precedent but not as much of a one as I thought initially…

  17. SG says:

    They are fabulously wealthy people (entirely inherited wealth in Justin’s case) who can and should pay for their nannies, just as all fabulously wealthy people should do.

    This isn’t about threats to their lives, it’s about cleaning up spills and reading bedtime stories. You don’t see a difference that between and your RCMP analogy?

    • Jack D says:

      Yeah, its too bad Harper was a poor, wealthless chap who couldn’t afford to pay for his own make-up artist and had to begrudgingly charge the taxpayers for his rosey cheeks. So, so sad his $300K-plus salary wasn’t sufficient enough to pay anywhere near fair price for his joy-rides on the Challenger Jet. I can only imagine the humiliation he suffered showing up to hockey games with his friends after having flown on a private jet, billed to the taxpayer’s expense.

      He was a man of great integrity, little wealth and an abundance of self-awareness. We should only expect others to meet the impeccable standard set by the prudent one.

  18. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    If this is the honeymoon, it needs to come with a money-back guarantee.

  19. cynical says:

    I’m still waiting for Poilevre to demand Trudeau’s birth certificate.

  20. dave says:

    He is learning fast from Ms. Wynne in Ontario, bill the taxpayers for everything.

  21. Maps Onburt says:

    I don’t begrudge him having to pay for baby sitters to look after the kids when he and Sophie are on official functions and trips but two full time nannies is a bit much considering how he campaigned. I’m an executive for a large multinational and I would never dream of charging my company for nannies and baby sitting when I bring my wife to client events or when I’m out of town on business. I’d wager that he spends far more time in his own bed than I do in mine. I don’t get to drag my family with me when I go to foreign countries either. That said, this is all about nickels and dimes in the scheme of things but it does show his hypocrisy to jump immediately on the public teat despite getting a raise of more than double and rent free housing and transportation. It’s a non issue and people, including rabid conservatives and dippers will forget about it by next week.

  22. Geoff V says:

    So what does Sophie do? Last I heard she was proud to be a stay at home Mom. If so, why does she need two Nannies?
    Optics look really bad.
    Conservatives warned of this growing Nanny State.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *