I recently experienced how quickly incorrect news can go viral. A friend forwarded the copy of a tweet by Andrew Scheer, leader of the Conservative Party, regarding a motion his party presented to Parliament. In the tweet, Scheer stated that he found it incredible the Liberals voted against a motion that MPs have to repay expenses from illegal activity. It was in regard to Justin Trudeau’s ill-advised Christmas vacation on the Aga Khan’s private estate. Unfortunately, Scheer did not make it clear that the motion consisted of two issues, one relating to expenses and the other to security.
The sender of the original email had tuned into the House of Commons feed where they had seen Elizabeth May vote. They went on to say it was sad that May, MP for Saanich Gulf Islands, voted with the Liberals against the Motion. I had to admit I was surprised that our MP known for her honesty and integrity would vote in favour of not claiming refunds for illegal activity.
I wrote to Ms. May to ask why she voted against the motion and received this reply: “I do not think we can require that Trudeau pay back the cost of the RCMP protection, which the Conservatives are demanding. I am all for his paying back costs of the vacation. But he had no choice about RCMP protection”.
Ms May had no choice but to vote against the Conservative Party motion because it included security costs which are non-negotiable and essential for a Canadian prime minister. She was certainly not voting in favour of allowing people to benefit from illegal activity. Tweets and assumptions can sometimes be misleading and damaging, and virtually impossible to correct.