You’d think politicians would learn from the recent investigations into Senate spending and the Mike Duffy trial, that Canadians have no tolerance for the gimme, gimme, gimme of politicians. Canadians don’t like the smell of a sense of entitlement.
A lesson lost, it seems, on our own Collingwood Council. The stench of entitlement is strong at the table these days. And much it emanates from Councillor “Senator” Jeffrey.
Last year, Jeffrey cut the cheese when she decided to pursue personal political ambitions by getting onto the board of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. Since the FCM board meets all over Canada – except, of course, in Collingwood – she needed more money in her expense account – limited to $4,500 tax dollars annually for councillors – to attend.
Plus, campaigning for the board – printing those flyers and schmoozing – was too expensive for a mere $4,500 if you still wanted to get in a few bottles of bubbly and some canapes. Better to have taxpayers pay for it.
So she got the Politburo – aka the Ideological Block – at the council table to back her request to add another $10,000 from taxpayers’ pockets every year onto her expense account. That’s $14,500 a year of your money!
Now she would be able to fly, wine, dine and party around the country in style, at your expense, without shelling out of her own pocket. No cold Camembert and stale crackers for our councillor!
And during the discussions about council giving her more money, she stayed at the table, spoke in public in favour of her own entitlement and, yes, voted to give herself more money.
You’d think it couldn’t get much stinkier than that – entitlement dripping with unethical juices and topped with a heaping of conflict – but it can. And it did.