Grip, grin and grab

I think I’ve finally hit the small time. I just got an emailed invitation to attend one of those “cash for access” events with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau. The invitation came from a man I’ve never met, Malcolm MacKillop, a Toronto lawyer. Well, it didn’t actually come from him. It was sent by his law clerk Adela Zawadzki. I’ve never met her, either.

The event, described as “cocktails and conversation” will be held on September 29 at the National Club in Toronto, at a time to be determined. But the invitation helpfully says it’s expected to be 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. So I’ve been invited by someone I don’t know to attend an event at a time to be decided later.

The cost, however, is big time: $3,000, with the money split between the Liberal Party of Canada and Morneau’s constituency, Toronto Centre. I have to write two cheques; they can’t cut up the cash in the back room. And, oh yeah, this is such a select gathering that I’ve been asked to forward the donation form “to anyone else who you think would enjoy this event.” If that individual can’t attend, I’m to let them know that their money is welcome without them.

So, let’s say 100 people dig deep and show up for the two-hour event. One hundred and twenty minutes divided by 100 people means everybody gets 72 seconds with the two special guests, or 36 seconds each. A receiving line would offer as much opportunity for conversation. Oh well, based on the selectivity of the mailing list, there’ll be lots of nonentities like me in the room to talk to.

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