Canadian Prime Minister told a well-heeled group of Liberal Party supporters in Montreal Thursday night that his government has been tough for wealthy Canadians. As the Canadian Press reports.
Trudeau described the adoring crowd as those who “represent people who have really succeeded in this country.”
But Trudeau feels their pain.
“I know it can be frustrating,” Trudeau told the attendees, most of whom had paid $1,500 for dinner. “The first thing we did when we got elected is raise taxes on the wealthiest one percent and lowered them for the middle class.”
One of those wealthiest Canadians was in attendance. Trudeau applauded the work of whiskey baron Stephen Bronfman, who has been a prime fundraiser for Trudeau. Bronfman and his holdings were also linked to a Cayman Islands trust that may have been used to evade Canadian taxes.
“Thank you for volunteering your time for this movement,” Trudeau said as he praised Bronfman’s “courage.”
He thanked the billionaire “for being such a strong voice for progressive change in this country.”
“We have all bought in to believe this is the way,” Bronfman said about the Trudeau government.
The prime minister made a point of waving to the media at the back of the room and boasted that their presence demonstrated his “commitment to transparency.”
“Our friends in the media are here tonight,” Trudeau noted.
“We are the only political party opening up our fundraisers to the media. We’ve encouraged the Conservatives and the NDP to do the same, but apparently their commitment to transparency is easier when they are talking about it than doing it.”
But, as CBC reports, Trudeau’s “friends in the media” were instructed to refrain from asking any questions of the attendees and given the heave-ho after Trudeau was finished speaking.