Roundup: On “luxury” flights

Over the weekend, Andrew Scheer tweeted about how the defence minister had spent last year taking “luxury flights” as part of government business – twenty of them, for 206 flying hours. The horror!

Of course, the notion that Canadian Forces Airbus jets are “luxury flights” is beyond ridiculous. These planes are so old that they still have ashtrays at the seats, and part of the fleet was retired because they couldn’t get any spare parts any longer. There is nothing “luxurious” about them. Not to mention the fact that for most of these trips, they weren’t to destinations that could be taken commercially with any particular ease, such as a few fact-finding missions to Mali along with key military brass. But hey, why should facts or context matter when you can tweet out outrageous spin in order to drum up a bunch of faux outrage?

But why is Scheer pushing this ridiculous notion? Partly, it’s the constant drone of cheap outrage that ensures that Canadians can’t have nice things (and We The Media can share a lot of blame for this particular problem). Partially, it’s because he’s made it his mission to treat the viewing audience like idiots. But mostly it’s to try and create this narrative that the Liberals are so entitled that they spend profligately on themselves (not actually true) as opposed to those who need it. And to try and enforce that narrative, they will repeat it ad nauseum until people start thinking that it’s true. I keep waiting for the “positive politics” and “change of tone” that Scheer promised to actual start to manifest itself, but nope.

Good reads:

  • With women MPs talking about the harassment they face, there is also a call for male MPs to speak up when they see things taking place that shouldn’t be.
  • The government says it will review its policies around funding in cultural sectors given the recent focus on harassment allegations.
  • A poll says that most Canadians oppose MPs taking free travel junkets. So…maybe we should give them travel budgets so they don’t need to take junkets. Maybe?
  • That ambassador to Indonesia who tweeted photos of Myanmar beaches was vacationing there with his wife…who is the ambassador to Myanmar.
  • There are complaints that the lottery system for family reunification immigration spots is “cruel,” but ignores that first-come-first-served mostly benefited the wealthy.
  • Here is another longread about Joshua Boyle.
  • Here is another interview with Karina Gould about her pregnancy in politics.
  • Andrew Scheer says he’ll spend the upcoming year hammering the government on taxes and ethics.
  • Aaron Wherry wonders if Canadian PMs should appear before parliamentary committees on a regular basis like they do in the UK.

Odds and ends:

A photographer in Revelstoke, BC, details how he got a shot of the vacationing Justin Trudeau (who appears to be sporting a vacation beard).