There's something very odious about parliamentarians collecting speaking fees. Justin Trudeau, in particular, is a wet-behind-the-ears dilettante with nothing useful to offer by way of advice to anyone, not even students. Why would any serious organization or corporation pay a substantial fee to hear him speak? What's in it for them? Access for legislative favors?
Updates: More, from Brian Lilley:
and Lorne Gunter:
... This strikes a lot of people as unethical. And in a moral sense I agree, particularly since Trudeau took most of that money from school boards, library associations, youth groups and charities.
But the golden boy of Canada’s Liberal party has broken no Parliamentary rules. Those who have criticized Trudeau’s actions – including many MPs – need to work to change House of Commons’ regulations ...
Lorne hits on a very important question. Why the hell are schoolboards and others, who ought to know better, wasting significant cash, especially taxpayers' cash, to hear Justin freaking Trudeau?
... the first question I asked myself when the details of Trudeau’s speaking credits became public on Thursday was: Who would pay to hear him talk in the first place? The man is a vapid tangle of feel-good platitudes about youth, potential, concern, caring and the future. His stump speeches on the leadership campaign trail these last few months have been almost entirely content-free....Back to ethics:
There are three problems I have with the ethics of Trudeau’s paid speeches, though.
First, he often missed sitting days and votes in the Commons to be away giving talks, which means he put his own ambition and enrichment ahead of his duty to his constituents.
Second, while he claims not to have promoted himself as an MP to get more gigs, his average fee for the 63 speeches he gave before being elected was $10,936. For the 17 after he took office, it has been $16,323 – a bonus of nearly 50%.
And, finally, it is far too easy for organizations seeking influence in Ottawa to slip a prominent MP a few thousand for a half hour of pontificating. So the practice should be abolished.