LETTER: Criticism of PM’s vacation ‘unnecessary and unfair’

LETTER: Criticism of PM’s vacation ‘unnecessary and unfair’

Conservatives should instead stick to ‘successful’ tactics, says letter writer/former Conservative cabinet minister

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The annual feeding frenzy of the national media, joined later by the Conservative party, with respect to the prime minister’s Christmas vacation is unnecessary and unfair in the case of the national media and distracting from the successful Conservative message in the case of the Conservative party.

The national media conducted its annual dissection of the prime minister’s Christmas vacation. That was done the first week after they were back from their own extended Christmas vacations. How hypocritical.

The prime minister takes an annual vacation. As a former cabinet minister, I know how hard a prime minister, of any party, works. They deserve a Christmas vacation to recharge their batteries and enjoy family time. Furthermore, he has no control over the RCMP’s security provisions.

The recent visit to Jamaica by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was reviewed by the ethics commissioner to ensure that the conflict of interest and ethics codes were followed. Apparently, the Prime Minister’s Office originally said, “The prime minister and his family were staying with family friends at no cost.” That was subsequently amended to “staying at a location owned by family friends,” not that they were staying with the family.

Prime Minister Trudeau is independently wealthy from family money. He stayed at a resort owned by a family friend. He reimbursed the government for the equivalent of the cost of commercial flights, but the accommodation in Jamaica was free.

I have followed Conservative Michael Barrett during his time in politics and I am impressed with the way he handles himself. Not so this time.

Barrett stated that the fact that Trudeau was gifted such an expensive vacation “could reasonably be seen as being intended to influence a government head.” Whether or not that is true, in my opinion, Barrett is forgetting what former prime minister John Diefenbaker once said: “When you are hunting moose, you don’t go chasing rabbit tracks.”

The Conservative party has had a very successful summer and fall holding the government to account on issues such as inflation, affordability and housing. Public opinion polls show that their tactics have been successful. Why vary from the message?

Doug Lewis


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