He­li­copter ride a ‘big deal’?

The Globe and Mail (Prairie Edition) - - GLOBE FOCUS -

Re Trudeau De­nies Use Of Aga Khan’s Pri­vate He­li­copter Was Un­eth­i­cal (Jan. 13): A front-page head­line in Fri­day’s Globe and Mail makes a big deal about Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau’s us­ing his host’s he­li­copter dur­ing a va­ca­tion which the story re­ports he tried to keep “se­cret.” Can we please take a Val­ium? For the wealthy, this is the equiv­a­lent of send­ing a car to pick you up at the air­port and no harm was done to Cana­dian tax­pay­ers.

Mean­while, on page three, you re­port that Jus­tice Ros­alie Abella of Canada’s Supreme Court was named Global Ju­rist of the Year for her ca­reer com­mit­ment to hu­man rights (Cana­dian Judge Named Global Ju­rist Of The Year On Record Of Hu­man Rights, Dec. 13).

Do we re­ally have to de­bate which story is more de­serv­ing of page one? – Brian Burke, Mon­treal

What is most trou­bling about the Prime Min­is­ter’s use of the Aga Khan’s posh Caribbean digs and his pri­vate he­li­copter is not that Justin Trudeau and his fam­ily opted in for the perks but that he (and in­deed his wife) failed to have the judg­ment to sim­ply say, “No.”

The prob­lem is not so much avail­ing him­self of the ben­e­fit, but the char­ac­ter flaw in not rec­og­niz­ing that the ben­e­fit did not out­weigh the costs: Those costs in­clude the op­tics of en­ti­tle­ment, ap­par­ent and/or real con­flicts of in­ter­ests and, per­haps most tellingly, the ob­vi­ous be­lief on his part that he could get away with it.

Whether it is the Prime Min­is­ter’s in­nate char­ac­ter flaw or in­stead our fail­ure as Cana­di­ans to hold those in po­si­tions of pub­lic trust to ac­count, the fact that we find our­selves as a na­tion with a Prime Min­is­ter af­flicted with the cancer of en­ti­tle­ment is a very poor out­come.

We must shake off the com­pla­cency – all of us: the pub­lic, the press and the pow­er­ful. – Joanna Gualtieri, Ot­tawa

Re PM’s Friend­ship With The Aga Khan Should Be Cel­e­brated (Jan. 12): The Con­ser­va­tives and the New Demo­cratic Party, as well as the me­dia, should be ashamed of them­selves for try­ing to make a moun­tain out of a mole hill, and in the process cast­ing as­per­sions on the Aga Khan.

Let’s cel­e­brate that our Prime Min­is­ter is friends with such a re­spected world fig­ure. The Prime Min­is­ter’s mis­take was to think that he and his fam­ily could visit a long-time friend over the hol­i­days with­out telling ev­ery­one where they were go­ing, just as the other 99 per cent of us can.

I en­cour­age Mr. Trudeau to take off his “down­filled sack­cloth” and cel­e­brate his friend­ship with this in­spir­ing man and friend of Canada, the Aga Khan. – Pa­tri­cia Mont­gomery, New­mar­ket, Ont.

One won­ders: Did the Prime Min­is­ter col­lect his ac­cess fee from the Aga Khan? – Ken John­son, Lind­say, Ont.

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