Canadian Press shows how it is done—and, no doubt, this is the sort of thing the NDP can expect for the next four years.
26 lines plus an inset photo with lengthy caption are devoted to a single trip that Jack Layton and his spouse took to a RWDSU Convention last August. He had been invited there to speak, and the “big labour union” picked up the tab. All $2800 or so of it. Somehow this is made to sound like a quid pro quo for Layton’s defence of Loblaws workers in Sudbury earlier in the year.
You have to dig several grafs into this wretched piece of emessemery to discover that, from mid-2006 to last December:
the Liberals took more free trips than any other party, 141 in all, followed by the ruling Conservatives, with 132;
Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis took 16 such trips, at a total cost of $71,950;
Liberal MP John McCallum went on a one-man “trade mission” to China, with his spouse, at a cost of $28, 741, although that figure is under review.
Duff Conacher’s one-man band, Democracy Watch, is concerned. I don’t see why. The trips aren’t costing the taxpayer one red cent, they are duly reported and on the public record, and, most importantly, MPs are accountable to their constituents for making them.
No one, I suggest, will be very shocked by the revelation that unions and Jack Layton get along. He hardly needs his visit to Florida to be “defended,” to quote CP’s tendentious language. Few if any would seriously believe that this was the price of his support for organized labour.
Some of the other jaunts buried in the story may indeed raise all sorts of questions about the MPs involved, and their various sympathies. So what? Go ahead and ask them, already. Isn’t that what journalists used to do?