01.16.2017 12:43 PM

Copping to the ‘copter

So, The Lobby Monitor asked me about the Aga Khan, helicopter, lobbying, blah blah blah. 

Here’s my response. 

The sponsor is almost always a lobbyist. CIJA, for example, sponsors a great deal of air travel – with MPs from all parties – every year. That never raises any concerns. 

This case shouldn’t either. The Opposition – and some bored pundits – are attempting to manufacture hysteria because they are frustrated by Trudeau’s ongoing popularity. 

There was no other practical and expeditious way to get where he was going. The helicopter belonged to a man who had known Trudeau since infancy, and was not a registered lobbyist. 

Trudeau did nothing wrong, in my opinion. 


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    Aongasha says:

    Well this was the PM not a lowly mp (different?) And they don’t have charter boats down south? Or helicopter taxis? Some folks use them now and then.
    Anyway, nice try. Don’t know if this will get you back in the good books of the LPC big shots, after being PNG for a while, but worth the effort I suppose. However will say, this is a better read when you are a little less partisan and call a spade a spade on all sides.

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    Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Agree with all of the above except, when the PMO tried to be evasive on his holiday destination, that left an impression that something was amiss. That’s their mistake. They need to follow the American practice where the press corps always knows where the President is going on holiday.

    It has to sink in. He isn’t Justin Trudeau anymore. He’s the Prime Minister and that means his office has to step up their game.

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    Anish says:

    But none of the sponsored travel happens on private planes. The issue here is a private helicopter. He should have cleared it before getting on it. He was failed by the arrogance in the PMO – nothing else.

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    BlueGritr says:

    This is a non story. Time to move on. I’m more concerned about the runaway government spending. If the everyday person ran his/her affairs the way this government runs its affairs, the banks simply wouldn’t do business with us.

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    daveconstable says:

    It’ll be worked out with the Ethic office. Looks like an administrative oversight to me.
    As for political impact, i am not sure. I like to think most people are mulling over bigger issues.

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    Ted says:

    Pretty sure sponsored travel doesn’t include family vacations.

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    Don Johnson says:

    For what its worth, where I work several of my co-workers have mentioned it negatively, including fairly strong Liberal supporters. But anecdotal evidence and all that… still…

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    doconnor says:

    The CIJA Israel junkets have been raising concerns for years.

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    Charlie says:

    We are now going on week three of the media dragging this factitious scandal of their own creation. PnP currently has Mulcair on (for some reason) hurling baseless accusations of broken laws; trying way too hard to portray Trudeau as Nixonian. To have someone with a vested interest in exacerbating an issue to offer unchecked comments is beyond a failure to uphold journalistic standard by the CBC.

    Oddly enough, Rosemary Barton repeatedly acknowledges the feedback she seems to be getting from Canadians indicating clear indifference to this topic of fodder for talking heads, yet continues to give this unwarranted coverage.

    As it currently stands, Justin Trudeau has been found guilty of nothing by the ethics and any such conclusion being drawn from this discussion is 100% conjecture — borderline libellous.

    On a broader level, there is a clear and glaring schism between what the media thinks is important and what Canadians as a whole think is important. This is the type of thing that lead to the erosion of faith in the media down south.

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      boopsie says:

      The opposition parties are leaderless and floundering. And will be until May and Aug respectively. So it is a case of “look over here, folks” until this interminable year is over.
      Trump is the big problem.

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      Ronald O'Dowd says:


      If it bleeds, it leads. It may not be blood, it may not look or smell like blood but for journos, it’s as good as blood. The can’t help themselves.

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    Kelly says:

    Most Canadian opinion columnists are just jealous, provincial hacks. Worse yet, they’re boring.
    Read the Guardian instead.

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    Steve T says:

    Until all political parties agree to stop “…manufacturing hysteria…”, it will continue. The CPC was the subject of lots of manufactured hysteria when they were in office, as was Paul Martin, as was Jean Chretien. Everyone is guilty of doing it when they are in opposition, and everyone complains about it when they are in power.

    It’s why, for example, the media here in Manitoba are apoplectic about Brian Pallister not communicating with his staff via email. It isn’t because they think they’ll actually find something incriminating in Pallister’s emails. It’s because they can’t pull off the typical lazy journalism and go sifting through random emails under Freedom Of Information requests, looking for some out-of-context comment that can be translated into front-page headlines.

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    Kevin says:

    I think we’ve now stepped though the looking glass.

    We have someone on another thread on this website saying that if the PM can show that he’s gone to that island frequently, then that proves this was just a family vacation.

    So the take-away is: if you do this once it’s a terrible thing, but if you do this terrible thing many times that’s OK then.


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    doconnor says:

    Basides being a family friend, how is this whole free luxury vacation thing distinguished from a large bribe?

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