Catching up on Trudeau and his speaking fees? Here’s the most recent file from Saturday’s papers:
Justin Trudeau is one of just three MPs – all of them Liberals – to report extra income from speaking engagements in the last five years.
And, in Trudeau’s case, it appears he missed debates, votes and possibly one of his party’s caucus meetings so he could earn tens of thousands on the speaking circuit.
The other two Liberal MPs to earn speaking fees are Trudeau’s Liberal leadership rival, Marc Garneau, and Toronto-area MP Kirsty Duncan.
All three followed House of Commons guidelines for this activity, reporting their income from speaking fees to the House of Commons ethics commissioner.
— Colin Brown (@Colin_m_Brown) February 16, 2013
— Scott Oakley (@ScottOakley) February 16, 2013
Colleague Kristy Kirkup zeroes in on the odd notion of an MP earning $15,000 for a 30 minutes speech to federal government employees Also from Saturday’s papers:
Liberal leadership hopeful Justin Trudeau took $15,000 in May 2010 from an Ontario school board to speak at a conference whose attendees were federal employees.
The 2010 event was one of 17 speeches the Liberal MP has given since his election in 2008 that have netted him $277,000.
Trudeau has broken no rules or guideline of the House of Commons. It still doesn’t sit well with his political opponents we first reported online Thursday and in our papers on Friday:
Justin Trudeau has charged school boards and other publicly funded organizations tens of thousands of dollars for speeches he’s given since becoming an MP, a practice that, while legal, has brought him censure from some of his Commons colleagues and Liberal leadership rivals.
“It is very clear that MPs can have supplementary sources of income in things they do,” Trudeau said Thursday during a campaign stop in Peterborough, Ont. “In my disclosure I’ve been more transparent than any politician ever has and I stand by what I said. I have set a new level of transparency.”
Still, many MPs balked at the idea of their colleagues accepting speaking fees.
“I can’t believe MPs would be taking substantial speaking fees when it’s part of the job,” Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said. Kenney said when he was an opposition MP, he gave many speeches and was sometimes offered an honorarium for his time, but said he refused even a $100 honorarium.
“It is absolutely untoward and inappropriate for MPs or senators to charge a speaker’s fee,” Martin said. “I’m paid handsomely to be a member of Parliament and if I’m invited to speak … that’s one of my duties to share that with civil society, free of charge, gratis.”
The story first emerged when Trudeau provided a detailed accounting of his finances to The Ottawa Citizen which the Citizen published Thursday. (Upon seeing what the campaign provided to one news organization, we asked if we could get the same documents but the campaign refused. Don’t know if The Toronto Star, Canadian Press, CTV or any other news organization asked as well for the same records the Trudeau campaign provided to the Citizen but, unless I missed it, I haven’t yet seen those organizations report on his speaking fees or income). At his blog on Thursday, Citizen reporter Glen McGregor published the list of speaking engagements that he received from the Trudeau campaign. You’ll find them at the bottom of this story:
His list of clients since the election includes a mix of educational groups, professional organizations and charities. The money they paid him was reported in his disclosures as salary from a federal corporation, JPJT Canada Inc.
Although Trudeau was not obligated to say how much he earned, records voluntarily provided to the Citizen by his campaign show he supplemented his MP’s salary with a total of $277,000 in speaking fees in the four years after he was elected. [Click through to list speaking engagements]
What do you think?