So Trudeau has had his first misstep – or has he? According to certain media commentators, most of whom work for Postmedia, the tone deaf media conglomerate that more or less shred their last vestige of credibility during the dying days of the election, Trudeau is being a hypocrite for allowing the state pay for his nannies. After all he made a point of saying that rich families like his didn’t need to get a child care cheque every month.
And of course, Rona Ambrose – Canada’s worst ever Minister for the Status of Women – and Lisa Raitt have piled on, proving, as I’ve known for a long time, that you can be a powerful successful woman without being any kind of a feminist.
Because this is a feminist issue. They aren’t questioning the gardener or the chef who are required to keep the house functioning for visiting heads of states. They certainly don’t question the salaries of the often redundant security guards who hover around Ministers and almost certainly watched Harper’s kids when they went to school. Security is manly-man stuff and you can’t pay enough for that, my friends.
But child care? That’s women’s work and why isn’t Trudeau’s wife doing it? Well, I’m sure she does a lot of it. But she – as the Prime Minister’s wife – is a busy person, too. Providing secure reliable child care – among other household functions – makes sense as part of the whole package. Why doesn’t Lisa Raitt whine about the bloated salaries of her corporate friends – none of whom is as important as the PM?
But why should the taxpayer pay for the care of Trudeau’s children? Because they are the Prime Minister’s children and, frankly, I don’t want my Prime Minister or his wife worrying about the care of their children while dealing with important national and international issues. Just as I don’t object to the fact that the former PM’s children were driven around or watched by security. Though I did think that the taxpayer paying for a hairdresser was wrong – it’s just a value for money thing. Because, well, helmet head.
It’s true that the PM is well off. Guess what, the last PM wasn’t poor – nobody asked him to pay for his chauffeur. There is not a means test to be a politician.
I understand – the Conservatives are desperate. They just lost – quite badly according to most analyses – and they are hurting. There appears to be something to gain by piling on these nannies. After all, there is a certain smallness to the Canadian mindset. Don’t we all like to chant in the face of success: Not as good as he thinks he is?
But there are more serious matters ahead. The Throne Speech is tomorrow. And who knows? Maybe there will be something in it about childcare for everyone else out there needing a hand up.
I don’t have children myself – but I don’t resent others getting help with theirs. Even if it comes out of my taxes.
And that’s ten minutes.