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PMO expense controversy seen as ‘bump in the road,’ reminder even top political staffers ‘can get smacked down’ for a few days

By Derek Abma      

Former Harper staffer Andrew MacDougall says he's surprised how ‘poorly prepared’ the PMO was on the moving-expense issue, but political watchers say once it became a news story and a problem, Katie Telford and Gerald Butts managed it well.

Experts say PMO chief of staff Katie Telford, left, and principal secretary Gerald Butts were smart to post their explanation and apology for the controversial $200,000 moving expenses on Facebook because they were targeting Liberals and it was a more personal approach. The Hill Times photographs by Jake Wright

The controversy surrounding moving expenses incurred by senior staffers in the Prime Minister’s Office and billed to taxpayers is not, in the overall scope of things, a big deal, though the Trudeau government would be well advised to avoid many more entitlement-related scandals, say experts.

Reboot of Trudeau ‘from sunny to serious’ a recognition Canadians want a serious prime minister, say politicos

News|By Abbas Rana
‘It's almost like we're seeing a new prime minister,’ says Jennifer Stewart, CEO Of Syntax Strategies.

No more shush deals: Senators ready to press for accountability, harassment reforms once Parliament returns

A Senate subcommittee approved a new policy for dealing with harassment in the Red Chamber before Christmas.

Former diplomats and experts at odds over potential Canadian re-engagement with Tehran

News|By Neil Moss
Some believe that Canada needs to engage globally including with countries that it doesn't agree with, but others say restoring diplomatic relations with Iran will be viewed as a reward.

PCO, Canada’s high commissioner to U.K. likely consulted in royal couple’s plans to move here part time, say experts

News|By Mike Lapointe
Multiple government departments remain quiet on any role they’ve played in the royal couple’s plans to move to Canada part time.

Ottawa to give $25,000 in ‘immediate assistance’ per victim to Canadian families affected by downing of Ukraine International Flight 752

News|By Palak Mangat
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has enlisted Independent Senator Stan Kutcher, an expert on mental health, to provide advice on how to support the grieving families.

Canada Proud’s Jeff Ballingall joins O’Toole leadership team

The Canada Proud Facebook page, which is followed by more than 190,000 people, posted a glowing quote about Mr. O'Toole from a column by Toronto Sun columnist Brian Lilley.

Public servants still waiting to engage with public service renewal parl sec

News|By Mike Lapointe
Liberal MP Omar Alghabra is the ‘first parliamentary secretary to be tasked to exercise leadership in this area,’ according to the Prime Minister's Office, but unions say they haven’t heard from him yet.

Trudeau set right tone in the days after Flight 752 downing, say foreign policy experts

News|By Neil Moss
Trudeau's comments have underpinned Canada's interests-based foreign policy, says former diplomat Colin Robertson.

One patrol ship and 118 Crown vehicles vandalized, part of $24.2-million in lost property in 2018-19

Federal court pay outs totalled roughly $28.1-million in 2018-19, including a roughly $10-million court award paid out by Global Affairs Canada under NAFTA’s Chapter 11.
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