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Vicky Mochama: The voice of Metro News.

Are Mélanie Joly and Bill Morneau being Punk'd?: Mochama

If I was being generous, I’d say between the foibles of these two ministers on tax changes and cultural policy, the party looks incompetent. But it’s rather good at branding the prime minister.

It's tough to be a cabinet minister, always taking a backseat to your boss' flashy socks.

Sean Kilpatrick / The Canadian Press

It's tough to be a cabinet minister, always taking a backseat to your boss' flashy socks.

Ever since they had her sit on a stage with the head of the Chicken Farmers of Canada to announce a frankly gloomy list of performers for Canada 150 in Ottawa, I have been convinced the Liberal Party is trying to destroy Mélanie Joly.

As Minister of Canadian Heritage, Joly has one of the few cool jobs in the cabinet.

Like, she should be dropping in on Daniel Caesar concerts and Instagramming from the basement of dinosaur museums.

But no. The party saddles her with doomed — but plucky! — announcements.

Recently, I confirmed my suspicion when Minister Joly announced “Creative Canada,” a policy that included a $500-million dollar promise from Netflix to establish a Canadian film production division. For a tax avoidance scheme, it’s still a pretty stunning and exciting change.

However, the announcement was made at the Economic Club of Canada in Ottawa; a dreary room full of suits clapped politely while Joly tried to muster up excitement for the Canada Periodical Fund. For a Big Friggin’ Deal, it felt like the government was vaguely embarrassed.

For Joly, the trap was laid.

In Quebec, the Netflix deal is now being savaged for not including French-language provisions. Paul Arcand, a Montreal radio show host said of Joly and the Netflix deal, “You can’t be naïve and sign blank cheques for American multinationals," according to the National Post. (Presumably, he hasn’t been keeping up with the Canadian cities courting Amazon who feel you not only can, but should do it as loudly as possible.)

I was sure Joly’s doomed declarations were simply a result of inter-cabinet pranks. But now I think Trapping the Ministers is a matter of party policy.

For a few months, Finance Minister Bill Morneau has been promoting changes to how taxes are paid. The rich, he said, aren’t paying their fair share. Dr. McRich and Farmer Wealthy von Trust Fund needed fewer advantages. Cool! I love roads and schools, and if it takes shaking the rich by their ankles for every spare coin to do it, I approve. (Until my windfall comes, naturally.)

Yet someone seems to have forgotten the old adage: when you point one finger, there are three pointing back at you. Journalists, following the three pointing fingers, found that Morneau himself is a Richy Rich of the highest order. Doctors should probably pay more taxes, but it’s a hard pill to swallow from someone so rich he sort of forgot about owning a French villa.

It was a mistake to send the rich man to tell the rest of us that the rich should be eaten without villa-vetting.

If I was being generous, I’d say between the foibles of these two ministers, the party looks incompetent. But it’s rather good at branding the prime minister.

If only Joly and Morneau had the same sway as Justin Trudeau’s socks.

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