The Many Faces of Entitlement – Part 3

Well, I guess the average person’s sense of entitlement is extended to our highly paid Canadian Senators.

Under the review by several ethics officers over their spending, particularly the housing allowance and travel and associated per diem charges, are two high profile senators: Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin.

Duffy and Wallin are intelligent and accomplished personalities. These folks are not ignorant or inexperienced individuals. Duffy has accumulated 30 years of experience bringing Canadians international events and policies into our homes – clearly explaining issues of the day. I remember Duffy on CBC TV’s “The National” in 1978 and then CTV in 1988. So how does someone like this fall into such shame? How does a renown journalist get confused by the definition of “primary residence” where he cannot properly complete a simple expense form accurately? Is the confusion an excuse to claim $42,000 in inappropriate living expenses? Or is it his sense of ‘entitlement’ to the living expenses whether it’s deserved or not?

Pamela Wallin has also had a career spanning over 30 years as a journalist, diplomat and entrepreneur. I also remember watching her on CTV where she hosted Canada AM, and she then went on to become the Ottawa bureau chief, and anchor of the CTV weekend news. In 1992, Wallin was the first Canadian woman to co-anchor the national Prime Time News. Again, how does someone of such accomplishments make a “mistake” to the tune of $38,000 in improper travel expenses? I guess with her busy schedule, she felt she need not differentiate between personal versus business expenses? Again, is it a question of entitlement?

Duffy and Wallin are appointed public servants who should, above all, exercise fiscal responsibility to tax paying Canadians at large. We all ought to be indignant of how our tax dollars are at work. This is not the end. How much more tax dollars is at work with now a criminal probe as the RCMP is pursuing Duffy for two allegations of breach of trust and another allegation of fraud on the government for improper expense claims to the Senate.

I hope that it’s coming across that, in general, a sense of entitlement is really, dare I say, for selfish reasons?