Every day they gather at the Waiting Place, a couple of dozen dapper, well-groomed uniformed men, playing cards or smoking or just shooting the breeze. When it is ‘Time’, they all go out and each gets into a spotless long black limousine, and proceeds off to one of several office buildings, being careful to line up in the correct pecking order.  Promptly at “the Time”, a couple of dozen Very Important People scuttle out of the buildings and each gets into a limousine and is whisked away to the front door of the Parliament building.  The Cabinet Ministers then proceed to their places for Question Period, and the limousines proceed back to the Waiting Place.

After the ministers huff and puff and strut through Question Period, undoubtedly the most remarkable display of bad acting between Hollywood and Bollywood, they rise as one and leave to reenter their limousines, now carefully lined up outside the door in the correct pecking order, and are whisked back to their respective office buildings, all of which are within ten minutes walk from Parliament. The limousines are returned to the Waiting place, and the two dozen dapper uniformed gentlemen go home, their days work done.  Except when they are required to ferry their minister to a Very Important Meeting, or the airport for their weekly (government-paid) flight home, or just to take the ministers friends or family on a little spin.

Now some might think this a waste of money. But remember these are important people, representing whole departments of the government of Canada (even though they were school teachers or used car salesmen or lawyers in real life – unlike the American system, where cabinet secretaries are selected for their qualifications, most have Ph D’s, and come from successful careers in business and/or academia).  I kind of like the notion that the taxes I pay go a long way to pay the cost of a limousine for one of these important people.

What I object to is YOUR tax dollars (mine went on a limousine) being used to have CBC rant at us to ‘take the one-ton challenge’, and use public transit or car pool, at the same time that each of these guys takes a daily separate chauffered limo ride rather than a ten-minute walk. You guys take the ‘one-ton challenge’, and then we will give it some thought.


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