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Daniel Dickin is a columnist for The Prince Arthur Herald. He obtained his B.A. in law and political science from Carleton University in 2011 and is in his second year of M.A. studies at Athabasca University. @DanielDickin

The Liberals have already amassed a decade’s worth of scandals

Governments come and go when the people get tired of them. The recently-deposed Conservatives were removed from office because some people thought they were big meanies, and because Canada had been doing well for so long that, hey, why not lose a couple thousand jobs and depress the economy for a few years? Before that, the Chretien-Martin Liberals were caught stuffing their friends’ pockets with taxpayer money for mysterious “advertising” contracts.

But those governments took a decade each for people to tire of them and decide that it was time for change. That’s one of the most impressive things about the Trudeau Liberals: in a short 120 days, they have amassed a laundry list of scandals that could have easily sunk the governments before them.

It started with the promise that the cabinet would be 50-50, equal parts men and women. In fact, the cabinet contains 16 men and 15 women, which is not 50-50 unless you settle with being off by a few people for the fun of it. While this might be dismissed as no big deal, the attitude that it shows can be used for all of the other scandals as well: “we made the promise, we didn’t meet it, but, meh, close enough. It’s 2016, am I right?!”

That was quickly followed by NannyGate, perhaps the most hypocritical of all the scandals so far, wherein Trudeau hired two full-time nannies to take care of his kids at public expense. Contrary to the Liberals’ rebuttals, the scandal wasn’t an issue with nannies or public servants. The issue was that a self-acknowledged multi-millionaire who claimed “rich families like mine” didn’t need and shouldn’t receive child care benefits was getting us to pay for two – two! – full-time nannies for his kids.

Or consider the environment file. One of the Environment Minister’s first actions in her position was to allow Montreal to dump eight billion litres of raw sewage into the Saint Lawrence River. Literally days later they spent $1 million flying to Paris to show how progressive and understanding they were about climate change. Because irony is apparently not a thing in the Liberal Party.

The promise that 25,000 Syrian refugees would be settled by the end of 2015? The end of February 2016 is close enough, right?

The promise that Canada would see some “modest” $10 billion deficits? They’re now approaching $30 billion a year, with banks estimating that the Liberals could amass $150 billion in debt from now through 2021.   Divided amongst Canada’s current population, that’s $4,167 per Canadian. Just on new debt. That doesn’t include the taxes we already pay or the new taxes the Liberals are working on implementing.

Aboriginal chiefs can breathe easier though, since the Liberals won’t be enforcing the First Nations Financial Transparency Act. No, they’re not repealing that law – they’re just not enforcing it.

Speaking of new taxes, how about that “revenue neutral” plan to increase taxes on some Canadians while lowering taxes for others? It turns out that plan won’t be revenue neutral at all: it will cost the treasury an estimated $1.5 billion.

Marijuana users – already a confusable and paranoid bunch – have been left in “legal limbo” over the status of their favourite pastime. “We elected the Prime Minister who smoked pot with The Prince of Pot Marc Emery! Why isn’t pot legal yet?!” I’m sure they ask.

Selling access to influential Liberals is nothing new to the party responsible for AdScam. Even before the election was over the Liberal Campaign Co-Chair was caught trying to sell access to the future Liberal government. He gave advice to TransCanada on how to get an “early entry point” to make sure the new Liberal government would make favourable decisions. Translation: I’ll hook you up. Before that it was a union that paid its members to attend a pro-Trudeau rally – a no-no according to the Elections Commissioner, since unions can’t make donations to political parties. But the Liberals seemed to last a few months in office without this same scandal rearing its head again, until it was revealed that the spouse of a cabinet minister had registered to lobby his wife’s department.

Many of these scandals are not exactly surprising to observers of the Dauphin. Justin Trudeau was well known for his gaffes, errors, and noticeably light presence before he became Prime Minister. But what is particularly disturbing is the sheer volume of broken or delayed promises mere months into government. This is an accumulation of scandals far beyond what any government should have experienced within a short 120 days in office. These are the scandals of the tired, weathered Liberal government from a decade ago; so many scandals of such significance should not have already accumulated in a short four months.

If these are the “sunny ways” Canadians voted for, we’re in for a long four years.

The Prince Arthur Herald
Photo credit: Wikipedia