OTTAWA, June 20, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – From 2006 to 2010, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau took in $82,500 in speaking fees from Catholic organizations, according to records he released earlier this year.
The politician has been hounded by the Conservatives and New Democrats this week because he accepted payment for speaking at events run by Canadian charities while sitting as an MP from 2008 to 2012. His speaking income was approved by Parliament’s ethics commissioner, but his critics are charging that speaking to Canadians is simply part of an MP’s regular duties.
They note that in some cases Trudeau even missed votes in the House of Commons while away at a paid speaking event.
In February, during the Liberal leadership campaign, Trudeau provided a list of his earnings from public speaking to the Ottawa Citizen, hoping to show his commitment to transparency.
The records indicate that he took payments ranging from $7,500 to $15,000 for seven events at Catholic institutions from 2006 to 2010. Four were hosted by Catholic school boards, one by a Catholic high school, and one each by the Ontario Catholic School Trustees Association and the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association.
The speaking fees are in addition to travel expenses and other costs, which were not listed.
Trudeau’s frequent appearances at Catholic venues has been a source of growing controversy because of his avowed support of unfettered abortion-on-demand and same-sex “marriage”.
At a kick-off event for Pope John-Paul II’s 2002 World Youth Day in Toronto, Trudeau told a crowd of his struggles with Catholicism, urging youth present to reject “old men with old ideas. It's time to change our world,” he said, “and it starts tonight.”
Last year Trudeau claimed in a statement that lit up twitter and blogs across the country that he would rather Quebec separate from the federation then see Canada become a country that restricts abortion and supports traditional marriage.
“I always say, if at a certain point, I believe that Canada was really the Canada of Stephen Harper – that we were going against abortion, and we were going against gay marriage, and we were going backwards in 10,000 different ways – maybe I would think about wanting to make Quebec a country,” he told a Radio-Canada host in February 2012.
The full number of Catholic events he has headlined is unclear because the list only includes those for which he was paid.
Here is the full breakdown, as reported by the Ottawa Citizen:
- April 20, 2006 – Ontario Catholic School Trustees Association. $7,500
- May 17 & 18, 2007 – Niagara Catholic District School Board. $15,000
- February 5, 2008 – Peterborough Victoria Northhumberland Clarington Catholic School Board. $10,000
- February 9, 2008 – Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association. $10,000
- May 21, 2008 – Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School. $10,000
- November 6, 2009 – Waterloo Catholic District School Board. $15,000
- May 7, 2010 – Algonquin & Lakeshore Catholic District School Board. $15,000