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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
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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. Andrew MacDougall, former communications director to Stephen Harper when he was prime minister, said chief of staff Katie Telford, principal secretary Gerald Butts, and the rest of the PMO have no choice but

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