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Public Editor: Readers question relevance of Trudeau nannies story

Canadian Prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau, his wife Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau and their children Xavier, Ella-Grace and Hadrien walk with his mother Margaret(R) to Rideau Hall with his future cabinet to take part in a swearing-in ceremony in Ottawa.

Sean Kilpatrick/AFP/Getty/Pool

A few readers this week have wondered why the media, including The Globe and Mail, have been picking on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over the nanny issue.

"Trudeau Nannies !!!!!!!!!!!!!" shouted the subject line from one reader's e-mail.

"Who is managing the Globe and Mail these days and what is wrong with his/her thought process? Is there nothing else to report on but this kind of nonsense?" one said.

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"Really? Do we have to start in on our new Prime Minister already? Can't we even have 6 months without the media destroying our hope?" asked another.

I told these readers that when politicians campaign on an issue or when they make a statement especially during an election campaign, it is the responsibility of all media to hold them to account for anything that has changed.

Mr. Trudeau made a point of saying that wealthy families like his and Stephen Harper's did not need public financed child-care help. He said, during the campaign, that he would not accept the enhanced Universal Child Care Benefit payments introduced by the Conservatives and promised to give the money to charity.

So whether you agree or disagree with the Cabinet's decision to have two special assistants hired by the government for nanny duties, it is an eminently fair question to raise and discuss it.

Here is a news story by Bill Curry about the criticism.

Here is an analysis piece by Adam Radwanski on the politics.

It wouldn't matter which party or prime minister was in power, the responsibility of the media is to challenge those in authority, not just accept what they say, to question their statements and decisions and to probe for all relevant details.

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It is a key part of the democratic process and one which Mr. Trudeau defended during the campaign. Globe and Mail reporter Les Perreaux posted this clip of Mr. Trudeau scolding supporters who tried to shout over a reporter's question.

"We respect the journalists in this country. They ask tough questions and they are supposed to," Mr. Trudeau said.

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