Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Stephen Harper's Scandalous Challenger Problem
Once upon a time Stephen Harper used to take a perverse pleasure in going after the Liberals for using taxpayer's money to fly around in Challenger jets.
But once he came to power he changed his mind.
And now he uses them all the time to ferry him and his friends around.
And doesn't seem to give a damn about sticking taxpayers with the tab.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party has racked up tens of thousands of dollars in flights on government Challenger aircraft to ferry the prime minister, staff and a longtime party fundraiser around the country, iPolitics has learned.
While the party or Conservative officials repaid the Department of National Defence for use of the planes to travel to partisan Conservative Party events, the amount the party has repaid pales in comparison to the cost to taxpayers incurred by using the government planes.
Or giving his good buddy and bagman Mark Kihn lots of rides for the price of a train ticket.
The invoices show Kihn travelled on a Challenger with Harper and his family every year but one between 2007 and 2012, usually a flight from Calgary to Ottawa just after Christmas. While Kihn was billed $1,300 for five flights — an average of $260 a flight — the December 2012 flight from Calgary to Montreal was billed directly to the Conservative Party of Canada.
But then Kihn isn't just a bagman, he's a friend of the family.
Kihn appears to have close ties to Harper and his family as well. Passenger logs for several of the flights reveal that the only passengers on the flights from Calgary to Ottawa were Kihn, Harper, Laureen Harper and Harper’s children Ben and Rachel. Kihn is Facebook friends with both Ben and Rachel.
The family that flies together stays together.
Harper’s mother, Margaret Harper, has also been a passenger aboard a Challenger at least four times, often between Calgary and Ottawa in the summer.
And just like DND could do anything about Peter MacKay's aeroplan miles...
There's nothing they can do about Harper's frequent flyer program.
Initially, DND calculated the cost of flying Harper and six staff from Ottawa to Moncton for a Conservative Party by multiplying the 3.1 hours of flying time by the $2,139 an hour cost of operating the Challenger for a total of $6,630.90, Canadian Press reported.
However, the PMO soon informed DND that the party would only reimburse the cost of economy class commercial flights and calculated the tab at $3,144.18. It has been calculated that way ever since.
Because when the Harperites claim that flying Challenger class is like flying Economy class...
Who would dare challenge that claim, and not pass the bill on to the taxpayers?
But then to be fair, if Great Leader likes to fly around like a Bollywood star it's only because he IS the star of his own home movies.
As many as four public servants from the Privy Council Office are engaged in the publishing of weekly video clips that celebrate Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s accomplishments.
And although hardly anyone watches them...
For good reason.
Viewership peaked for the clips in their first edition, covering Jan. 2 to Jan. 8, when 10,172 people watched the English version on YouTube and another 14,342 watched through a proprietary software used on the website.
The numbers have been in sharp decline since, with only 100 watching the Jan. 23-29 English version on YouTube and 19 in French.
We're paying for that too. So his PMO minions can try to brainwash us with OUR dough, into thinking that Great Leader is a good money manager AND the taxpayer's CHAMPION.
Oh boy. It may have been a long time since Harper used to attack the Liberals for doing the same or less than he's doing NOW.
"As they pad their expense account and look out the windows of their $11,000 per hour Challenger jet flights to B.C., they think that everything is going pretty well," Harper then said. "They just don't get what real life is like for ordinary Canadians."
But he has always been a hypocrite. He has no idea what life is like for ordinary Canadians.
And the good news is that what we're seeing is just the corruption of power.
The Con hogs have been around for too long.
The fish is rotting from the head down.
Great Challenger Leader is out of control.
And sooner rather than later.
We are going to GROUND him...
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