EDITORIAL: Guilbeault, Ratansi stories are telling

Steven Guilbeault and Yasmin Ratansi are pictured in file photos.

file photos / Canadian Press

The judgment of two Liberal MPs should be called into question after news stories exposed some of their questionable decisions.

Montreal area MP Steven Guilbeault, who is also the minister of heritage, has been found to have been driving around racking up more mileage than the average Canadian.

Driving a car a lot — so what? That sounds like no big deal. To most people, it wouldn’t be.

But before he put on a suit and became a politician, Guilbeault was one of Greenpeace’s more extreme activists, being hauled away by the cops back in 2001 for illegally scaling the CN Tower. He also chained himself to an Esso station in Montreal in opposition to oil and gas.

Steven Guilbeault is taken into custody by Toronto Police after scaling the CN Tower in July 2001.

File photo /

Postmedia Network

When he became a minister, a radio station in Montreal asked if he would start driving a vehicle.

His answer: “I don’t want to make a big ‘no, I’ll never do that’ statement, but I would try to do without. Why not? Maybe it won’t work, but at least I’ll try it.”

Looks like it definitely didn’t work.

“In contrast to the 21,919 km that Guilbeault is dinging taxpayers for, Natural Resources Canada says the average Canadian drives just 15,000 km per year. That’s the figure that is used to determine the size of the carbon tax rebate each year,” Brian Lilley explains in a recent column.

Yikes. Talk about hypocrisy. Maybe Guilbeault should think twice next time before he judges other people’s choices.

The other story is more problematic. It involves serious rule-breaking.

Toronto MP Yasmin Ratansi has left the Liberal caucus after it was exposed that she hired her sister to work in her constituency office.

Ratansi described the hiring decision in a social media post as “an error in judgment” and said she is awaiting guidance from the ethics commissioner.

The first time Ratansi employed her sister, it was not technically against the rules. But when her sister was hired once again, this time in violation of the changed rules, she had her sister go under a different name in an apparent attempt to evade detection.

The Liberals used to make a big deal about doing politics differently and holding themselves to the highest of standards.

So much for that.

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