Certain days, the public may think everybody in politics and the public service started their lives on dairy farms. How else can you explain how they can milk the system so well?
Just consider David Dingwall, the ex-Liberal cabinet minister who then ran the Royal Canadian Mint. Even though he defended his expenses when facing a public accounts committee in 2005, he is the one who coined the phrases, “I’m entitled to entitlements.”
These words went viral on YouTube. People were wondering what he was the master of once it was known to everyone that he charged them for his tea and chewing gum. This is not something the taxpayers liked. You would also think that someone who earned $277,000 a year would be able to purchase his own newspapers, right? You’d be wrong.
So here is the thing, after a couple of separate inquiries, one by a law firm and an accounting firm, it was confirmed that he was entitled to whatever he took including expenses worth $740,000 for 2004. The feds were even forced to pay him an addition $417,000 since the court believed he was forced to resign from the Mint by Paul Martin.
Now, we come to Senator Mike Duffy. He was also pursued by the media because he used the word expenses. He charged the people for make-up artists, meals at home, personal trainers, and even flew to Ontario and bought himself a dog.
More recently, Katie Telford and Gerald Butts were in the news because of their moving expenses worth $207,052. The pillars of Trudeau shifted to Ottawa from Toronto, and all of this was within the rules as well. They did apologize to the public for misusing the system but can we actually forgive them for enjoying life with our hard earned money?