How did the PMO get involved in the matter of Justin Trudeau and the Grace Foundation? -

How did the PMO get involved in the matter of Justin Trudeau and the Grace Foundation?

How to build a scandal


Not until I read Sunday’s dispatch from the Canadian Press did I realize that the Prime Minister’s Office had been distributing the letter the Grace Foundation sent to Justin Trudeau in March, but this much was noted in reports on Friday.

According to the Prime Minister’s Office, the matter was first brought to the attention of Conservative MPs Rob Moore and Rodney Weston.

The Grace Foundation appealed to their Saint John area MPs Rob Moore & Rodney Weston for assistance, after four months of silence from Justin Trudeau. That’s how the local media and our office received the letter.

“Four months” is not quite an accurate measure. The Grace Foundation wrote to Mr. Trudeau on March 6. According to Mr. Moore, Judith Baxter, the vice chair of the Grace Foundation, contacted him sometime in May about Mr. Trudeau’s speech. He was then faxed a copy of the letter last Wednesday.

As Kady O’Malley notes, Ms. Baxter was appointed by Josee Verner to the board of trustees of the Museum of Civilization in 2007 and reappointed in 2011. Her husband, Glen Baxter, is a member of the board of directors of the Conservative riding association in Fundy Royal, Mr. Moore’s riding. My attempts to contact Ms. Baxter have so far been unsuccessful.

As Mr. Moore noted in an interview with me yesterday, if the Grace Foundation was rife with Conservatives it probably wouldn’t have booked Mr. Trudeau in the first place.

I’ve asked both Mr. Moore’s office and Mr. Trudeau’s office whether Mr. Moore reached out to Mr. Trudeau directly, but have yet to hear back from either.

CTV reported last night that the Prime Minister’s Office was distributing more documents related to Mr. Trudeau’s speeches yesterday and Susan Delacourt reports that the Star was among the recipients. The Barrie Advance was contacted by the PMO on Monday with documents related to a speech Mr. Trudeau gave in 2006.

Update 10:18am. Mr. Trudeau’s office says it has no record of contact from Mr. Moore or any other Conservative MP on this issue.


How did the PMO get involved in the matter of Justin Trudeau and the Grace Foundation?

  1. Same ol’ attack ad stuff, just like with Dion and Ignatieff

    PMO is so busy doing this political stuff that Harper came home from the EU empty-handed.

    • Emily, you can’t expect steve harper to know what’s going on in his office. You should know better by now.

      LOVE that Barrie Examiner broke the PMO story today. Blew PMO out of the water. But at least we know we can look forward to seeing Justin Trudeau’s high school report cards soon.

      In all of this, I am fascinated that before the Grace Foundation story was out, for about two weeks the most fervent CPC zealots on these comment boards were unwittingly testing the Justin charging charities talking point/meme for PMO.

      Oh well, I guess that’s all the transparency we’ll ever get from these frauds.

      • LOL they aren’t ‘unwittingly’ testing a talking point, they’re following orders

        Failed on here anyway….only Cons bought the line. It’ll fail across Canada as well.

        • Fun to hear Liberals supporting the unsupportable and making up facts on the run. So, Liberals, should Trudeau pay back all the money he took from charities, school boards and others? Should he account for the role of all his publicly-paid staff with regard to his speaking efforts? How many Liberals will talk about the conflict between Trudeau and the Liberal Whip over his frequent absences to make money for himself (while others were out making speeches to raise money and hope for the party)?

          • It’s definitely audition-time for the summer temps on here….however I’m not a Lib so you’re wasting your efforts on me.

          • I wonder if they’re paid or just interns??

          • When the Cons got in in SK, they actually contacted the University of Regina School of Journalism and advertised for conservative commenters for Letters to the Editor and radio call-in shows. The beauty of the request was that it gave the Journalism students the opportunity to perfect reporting on unethical behaviour in politics. Was all over the news before the sun had set that day.

          • Well they have the money to pay them…..but they sure aren’t getting any quality for their bucks. LOL Just a lot of partisan yelling and fake facts.

            I mean if they’re gonna do it, they could at least try to do it well.

          • Actually Trudeau made plenty for the party. he made over a million of his leadership campaign and that much of that was given over to the party becsue it exceeded the amount that he could spend.

          • 3.1 million dollars on accounted for. Does anyone remember?
            memory, turns out to be a convenience for some people

        • Thanks for the correction and you are correct: credit where credit is due. Good for them. Not going to be pushed around by big players.

      • Thanks to QP or we would never have been told about who the real Justin Trudeau is!

        If the MSM won’t report on what Justin has been up to, then it is important that someone tells the news to Canadians.

        • This Canadian finds it very difficult to be grateful about anything on Question Period. Of course, I’m not a cheerleader like Francien.

    • Right. I’m now wondering what else they were doing in 2006, which was TWO YEARS before Justin became an MP! Hard though it is to believe now, they must have had some other reason for living then.

      • They have files on every member of the Lib and NDP parties….available for use at any time. Then they just wait to see who gets elected leader.

        I think they were very disappointed about Bob Rae….and that Justin scares them to death…..but the attack ads are the same either way.

  2. The Conservatives can make as much hay as they like about Trudeau and his public speaking business. The PMO, however, should not be in the partisan-hay-making business. Funny thing is, I can’t think of any good reason why it even needed to get involved in the first place.

    • The PMO responded directly to this and said it is part of their job on the public payroll to contrast leadership styles of Harper and Trudeau. Susan Delacourt wrote about them giving this explanation for their behavior.

      • I read that. Sounds like they’ve given the definition of partisan activity. Y’know, it’s not a real big deal, but it’s frustrating because the PMO never needed to get involved. The CPC could have handled it all in-house, couldn’t they?

        • The party itself has no official standing in the House of Commons. The government does. Questions are asked of the government. Hypocrisy and unworthy behaviour are always worthy to note.

          • Researching answers for the PM to give in the HoC may be within their purview. Giving “anonymous tips” to a newspaper is definitely not.

        • If it weren’t for QP and the CPC members, we would never have known about Justin’s practices of giving speeches to charities whose charities LOST money!

          Justin has to come clean! Has he used some of that $277,000 he earned extra while being an absent MP for his leadership bid for the LPC?

          Has Justin declared where his private funding for the leadership bid came from????

          We need an investigation into this Justin double-dipping affair!!

          • Hilarious. He received more donations than he needed to win. Unlike some political leaders in this country, he does not need a secret fund.

            People like you make me feel comfortable with Trudeau. You’re not even trying to hide your desperation.


          • Re “Justin’s practices of giving speeches to charities whose charities LOST money” –

            That they lost money is not Justin’s fault. That’s bad planning and promotion – settling on a fee that, mathematically, would put them in a hole.

            If you hire a contractor to work on your house, and the contractor delivers the promised results for the contracted price, is it the contractor’s fault if you realize after the fact that you miscalculated how the reno would impact your budget?
            The “charities” and the “lost money” bits make for good, partisan sound bites but have no relevance if you are being honest and factual.
            Your other questions may have some relevance; do you have any genuine evidence of wrongdoing to back the assertions?

          • Troll.

          • Will all of the conservative members of parliament pay back all the funds that they have received for any services provided during the time when they were sitting as MP’s?

          • Francien, you forgot to thank the paid trolls like yourself who have been hammering away trying to get some traction on this story for weeks. I imagine it is a huge disappointment that once again, anyone who is pissed, is pissed at our PMO wasting time and tax dollars trying to invent an issue with the leader of the third party in the house. I’m smelling fear.

            Judging by the comments I’ve read across the country, this, like the immature attack ads is backfiring and turning more people off the Harper party. People don’t want an investigation into this, they want a leader with integrity and a vision for Canada that includes all Canadians.

            The psychopaths who have huge egos, no empathy, no remorse or ethics but managed to get elected based on bashing their competitors will find an electorate that has matured and will not fall for the party that lies about everything, again.

            Clearly it is time for a change and that change will begin by electing members who respect rules and the law and do not think they are above it. I can imagine that just makes your day.

          • If it weren’t for QP and the CPC members, we would never have known about Justin’s practices

            This really speaks to a notion that I’ve been reading in a lot of columns lately. The Tories seem to believe that it’s the government’s role to hold the opposition accountable, and not the other way around.

          • If it appears the media are choosing not to examine the questionable practices of opposition members like Trudeau, then who the hell would you like to inform the public.

            Trudeau announced his intention to become leader of a political Party that wishes to govern us almost a year ago—–plenty of time for someone in the media to do a little digging to inform us about how he feels about making money from charities.

            I`m sorry if your sensibilities have been hurt, but we have the right to know about the character of someone who wants to be PM.

          • It’s not as though the media would have really needed to do a lot of digging. Trudeau cleared his speaking work through the Ethics Commissioner’s office.

            It’s true that we might not have found out that a private entity that paid for Trudeau’s services had asked him to give the money back after he had delivered said services if someone hadn’t shown the request to the Tories, but the fact that Trudeau agreed to speak for said fee in the first place was never hidden.

          • If the CPC wants to take a run at Trudeau for this, then fine – have at ‘im.

            But the PMO is not a branch of the CPC – at least, not in theory. In practice, as this story once again makes evident, the only de facto difference between the PMO and the CPC is who pays the salaries.

            So once again, we are being scammed and swindled by the CPC at our own expense. This really has to end. Clearly Harper has to go – and take his PMO staffers with him.

          • Francien has a low IQ apparently, or perhaps works as a paid troll for Harper. I’m betting the latter. Nobody forced any charity to pay him. THAT WAS THEIR CHOICE. They could have hired anybody.

            What’s more, the charity very likely didn’t pay. The event’s sponsors did. The charity is incompetent.

            Additionally, it was Trudeau who aired all of his expenses. He disclosed them for everyone to see.

          • no, first we need an invest. on where did the 3.1 billion dollars went

      • And that would be incorrect. That’s the party’s responsibility, not a “supposed” branch of the executive.

      • No it isn’t. That is the job of the political party and their stupid attack ads prove it. They have to be paid for by the party.

        The PMO is supposed to deal with issues related to the Prime Minister in his elected role during his term. It is not supposed to be Conservative headquarters, Parliament Hill office.

        Just because this PMO says something likely means that a) it is wrong, b) it is intentionally misrepresented or c) it is an outright lie.

        Yeah, Wallin’s expenses were in line with other Senators and Wright didn’t do anything wrong.

      • That is hogwash. Harper is using tax revenue to campaign against his key opponent. His staff are paid by tax payers. If the CPC wants to engage in this horsesh*t, that its business, but the PMO has no business using government resources to influence peddle and spread stories and slander about political opponents.

    • Obviously, you don’t have an education in how government in Canada is actually structured and operates.

      Let me provide a brief that is to the point: each political leader has a political office. Mulcair, as Leader of Her Majesty’s Official Opposition, has a big political office with more than 80 staffers. The Office of the Leader of the Opposition (OLO) is located on the top of the building known as the ‘South Block’ of the Parliament Buildings (corner of Bank and Wellington). The Prime Minister has a political office a big block east in the Langevin Block, also on the south side of Wellington. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has 94 full-time staff. These are the two big political offices. Before PET, neither office was as big, but both were still political. Other party leaders, if their party has at least 12 MPs, also get extra funding for a political office staff.

      The Privy Council Office (PCO) is the non-political office which coordinates the directives of cabinet and largely runs the government based on control from the Prime Minister through the PMO.

      So, to answer your question. The PMO knew because it’s their job to know the political issues of the day so the Prime Minister and Ministers are prepared and able to answer questions in Question Period. The OLO has a group responsible for posing questions in Question Period. Presumably Trudeau has a similar, smaller, group.

      Wherry and Wells learned these things when they were students at the University of Western Ontario (since renamed). They act like everyone else knows, too.

      • so the Prime Minister and Ministers are prepared and able to answer questions in Question Period

        Since when?

        • No one’s suggested that they haven’t always been prepared and able to answer questions in Question Period.

          The fact that they often don’t do so is another issue all together, lol.

      • I am aware of all this, and I also acknowledge that the PMO is a ‘political’ office. It helps to keep the political ‘team’– the CPC caucus — functioning. If the team isn’t functioning, the government isn’t functioning. I’m alright with that.

        However, having the PMO actually feeding media stories goes into the ‘partisan’ realm — at least, it does for me. The CPC is obviously more than welcome to participate in that activity, and I don’t begrudge them for doing so. But the PMO? C’mon.

        • If the media does not do its job properly, then Canadians have to be informed somehow! Hence, QP over the last few days has been very informative!

          • Again, F, I don’t have a problem with the CPC and Conservative MPs doing whatever they need to do to ‘get the word out’ about Justin. I am totally fine with all of it. I just think the PMO overstepped is all.

  3. I believe the reason the Grace Foundation lost $21,000 at the fundraiser for seniors furniture was that there were no chairs to sit in.

    Shoulda made it a BYOC.

  4. Can you post the letter to Mr. Trudeau dated March 6? Some media say it wasn’t even sent to Trudeau, but to the speaker’s bureau, whereas others say it was sent to Trudeau. The speakers bureau said they sent a reply, which suggests it may have been sent to them, or perhaps to both Trudeau and the bureau. Can we see a copy so we will know?

    • 3 hours since you asked your excellent question. Still no answer though! Not surprising!

    • A speakers bureau handles the transaction for both parties to the agreement and also deals with complaints.

    • Speakers bureau, that is what you pay them for, all you do is speak.

  5. Let’s see.

    Wherry et al going through the political affiliations of a charity’s board.
    Tim Naumetz digging through their finances.

    All in the name of deflecting any blowback on Trudeau.

    Oh yeah. Can’t wait for the Liberals to return to power. My goodness, how clean everything will be.

    • Man you can be pathetic. It’s news if Trudeau screws up. It’s news if the govt is out there actively encouraging bad press for him.

      • Your comment demonstrates the naivete of a little 12 year old girl with a crush on a 41 year old boy-man.

        • I’m thinking you’ve got the real man-crush thing going here. Seriously, if you’d just come out of the closet you’ll feel a lot better for it.

          • Oh, why don`t you go give little kcm another thumbs up.

        • And your comment demonstrates the maturity of a 12 year old internet troll.

          • Waw u are original!

          • No, I just pay cursory attention to the world around me.

        • I’m not at all surprised you’d fail to get it. We’re entitled to know if the govt is actively trying to drum up bad press on Trudeau/ Mulcair .. anyone it doesn’t like. What part of that story doesn’t bother you?

          • Never be afraid of the truth.

          • Oh, how some are so very afraid of the truth.

            Some are hoping the real Justin will be kept under wraps until he is PM. LOL

          • You mean unlike “three questions only, from reporters I like” Harper?

          • You couldn’t even find your butt with both hands; much less the truth – whatever that is.

          • The truth being that the CPC is using the PMO to do its propaganda work at taxpayers’ expense.

      • And is it news when the CBC fabricates false stories about the CPC?

        • Wow…it really makes me embarrassed to know that you’re of Dutch descent too…and the Dutch are usually very smart

    • Journalists are researching a story? Oh my, how shameful of them. How dare the institution known as The Fourth Estate attempt to hold the government to account.

      • Well, let’s see the research, then. Who has Trudeau appeared before? That’s pretty central to the story, yet no “enterprising journalist” has given that a complete look-see. We know he gouged the school board in Kingston for the speech and limo. But who else has he talked to? How big was the turn-out? What was the local Liberal connection? What connections did his speeches have to his leadership campaign? How many of his political staff attended him at these events?

        Some journalists tried to contact Kristy Duncan and Marc Garneau, but strangely couldn’t get through. Odd that.

        • He gouged no-one. People hired him for a non-essential service. This isn’t food, this isn’t oil, it’s a luxury service. Anyone who pays for it has agreed to the costs – up front – of a completely unnecessary service.

      • Yes, research. That’s a good word for it.

        I’m sure right now Delacourt is probably “researching” how many donations to the CPC any board members might have made. Joan Bryden is probably “researching” criminal backgrounds of anyone associated with this charity. Jen Ditchburn is probably “researching” any CPC volunteer work anyone at the charity has done. And so on. In the eyes of our press, that’s “research”.

        However, when one tries to turn the tables, as Brad Wall did, on the appropriateness of Trudeau’s fees to see if there was any wrongdoing, quid pro quo, illegal donations disguised as fees, etc…looking into that isn’t called “research” anymore. It’s called “smearing”, and prompts demands for apologies from anyone who goes there.

        Oh yeah, don’t worry. I fully get how journalists “research” stories, and when.

        • Today in the news, it came out that Wall’s “celebrity” MLA, Roughrider Gene Makowsky, has “returned” fees he was paid to speak to charity events. Moreover, Wall’s wife Tami is on several boards and accepts a per diem. Wall is the small man of Canadian politics, both literally and figuratively speaking. He thinks he will be pm, and seizes any opportunity to get on national news. Just watch him.

        • Ah, I see that you live in your own, seperate, paranoid reality.

    • So your concern is not whether or not the information is accurate, but whether or not the motives of the reporter are pure?

      Let their confessors judge their motives, I’ll be content to judge their information.

      • So your concern is not whether the information about Trudeau ripping off charities is accurate, but whether the information came from the PMO and not from ” investigative journalists ” .

        Let the people judge the actions of a greedy and uncaring Trudeau. If the media choose not to report on his failings, that should not stop the truth from coming out.

        • Trudeau is not ripping off charities. These fundraising business’s are big money. In fact, 10 people employed by the Grace Foundation make a combined 1 million dollars in salary, are they ripping off charity? By your logic they are. That’s about a $100,000.00 a year for those people.

          Do you have any clue how charities are run now a days? These are not your corner orphanages or your community soup kitchens. These are multi-million dollar corporations that raise funds for different organizations.

          Trudeau has done nothing wrong here and those that say he has are at best being intellectually dishonest.

          This is nothing but discrimination against professional speakers.

          • Thank you! As someone who has worked for non-profits before, I’m completely confused why everyone is treating them like they’re run by Mother Theresa.

            They’re gigantic businesses. The end.

          • Trudeau ripped off all taxpayers by having double-dipped for 3.5 years!

            And now the media is trying to find all kind of excuses in order to defend poor Justin! Very revealing all this is! So very, very, revealing!

          • I loathed to even admit the existence of someone of your nature but this once I’m going to go against my better judgement and respond.

            Trudeau was not double-dipping. He was hired by an organization (outside his duty as a MP) to be the lead fundraiser for a fundraising initiative. They agreed to and signed a contract.

            Unless your point is that no MP should be able to make money outside of their MP’s salary you sound like the idiot i think you are.

            Now do us all a favor and go f*** off somewhere where you won’t be an embarrassment to humanity any longer.

            *this is a one-time only response to you. I have better things to do with my time that respond to idiotic lunatics like yourself.

          • So are you saying that it is immoral to receive funds for anything while you are a sitting member of parliament?
            In that case should not all mp’s give back all funds they have revceived while sitting as a MP?
            Just curious?

        • That’s funny, I haven’t heard any information about Trudeau ripping off charities.

          I have heard that various charities have approached a for-profit speakers agency, asked to hire Trudeau, and agreed to pay a mutually negotiated fee.

        • Dude, I’m perfectly willing to let people judge Trudeau or any other public figure. It’s you that seems to be getting hysterical, you’re repeating distortions and flat-out untruths like a manic mayor on crack. Settle down, big fella, it’ll all blow over eventually.

          • Never be afraid of the truth.

          • I don’t fear the truth, I fear effective liars. To your credit, you’re not very effective when you scream about “rip-offs.”

          • So you must fear the CBC. CBC has fabricated stories in order to keep the scandals alive (only the CPC scandals of course).

    • Journalists shouldn’t be going through links between a charity and politicians and publishing their finances. That’s the PMO’s job! Journalists can take dictation.

  6. So let me get this straight, the only newspaper in Canada with the guts to blow the top of Conservative/ PMO (same thing) tactics in the Trudeau smear campaign was the Barrie Advance? The Globe, Star, CTV, CBC, CP, Macleans, etc have been accepting these smears from PMO on many people under the table for years and quoting only “source”? I can’t believe it.
    Our own ‘whistle blower’ and from Barrie.

    • So Patrick Brown the ball is in your court now; are you going to condemn one of your home town papers, or stick up for them?

    • It says a lot about journalistic integrity that we never really thought about before (or at least I didn’t). I am tired of unattributed, anonymous sources saying shitty things about their opposing parties. Maybe some journalists need to raise the bar of accountability, just like the MPs and their offices do. Just like Justin Trudeau is trying to suggest in HoC.

      • Good point. And worth noting that overwhelming majority of people voting on these comments in support of little Justin are “guest votes”. In fact, nobody here can be verified based on the name provided, although some have long track records. Betcha I know whose offices in Ottawa they’re coming from. NSA has already logged the IP addresses…. Just move your cursor over the vote total and see what names pop up.

        • I am a “guest “here, and I vote on comments — not registering means I cannot give thumbs down, only thumbs up. Also, I am a big Justin Trudeau supporter. And a reputed Harper Hater. So what? Doesnt’ mean we can’t see the forest for the trees — and because of where I currently live, I rarely even vote for the Liberals.

          When I look at comments, I tend to see whose comments sound like someone else’s, and find it interesting when all the conservative supporters deliver the same lines and ideas. It’s just so lame to not be able to come up with your own ideas. And after awhile, it’s just white noise.

          • Except of course when repeated posts by me have mentioned Justin’s double dipping practices for weeks!!

            And you think it is still white noise because you don’t like for the real Justin to come out!

            Well, grow a spine; more about Justin to come! The real Justin, that is!

          • Yeah, you’ve double-dipped to death, but your logic is no more solid now than it has been from the start.

      • CBC Greg Weston story about ‘secret fund’ and ‘no one has denied it’ stories are COMPLETELY without named sources!

        Did YOU object then those fabricated stories were being spun out by CBC (paid for by all Canadians!)

  7. No wonder they can’t get the EU thing done, if they spend half their time running around digging for dirt on Mulcair and Trudeau. They’ve probably got CERC collecting Justin’s meta data, or whatever it’s called, and CSIS going through his trash as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of harpers big boys doesn’t have f/ t job keeping tabs on him and following him home at night for good measure. What a bunch of slimy creeps!

  8. Finally, people are catching on to the real issue here: The PMO – and our tax dollars – being used for partisan – and therefore anti-democratic – purposes.

    Something’s rotten at Langevin Block.

  9. The best part of f this is the PMO sent info to the Barrie Advance and asked to be off the record without actually talking to the reporter first.

    That’s weapons-grade stupid.

  10. Here’s a fun fact about the Grace Foundation, you know, the poor charity that Trudeau took advantage of last year?

    Management and administration costs: $3.2 million dollars.
    Charitable program costs: $2.3 million dollars.

    That’s 29 cents on the dollar going their charitable programs, which is nowhere close to acceptable for a charity. How much money is their board of directors – which had the gall to ask for this refund – actually making from their position? Maybe they’re the ones who should be giving money back.

  11. But the important issue is being ignored in all of this. Where is Justin Trudeau’s birth certificate?

  12. Trudeau takes money from charity and comes up smelling like a rose, those who attempted to smear him continue to smell like fertilizer.

    I honestly don’t think Trudeau is ready for prime-time but I have to say that the CPC is making him look more mature, rational and emotionally stable with every move they make.

    • And……………….another excuse to defend Justin. You people are a hoot!

    • You know it’s very nutricious if you swallow!

      • I prefer pizza and beer.

        But I’m not judging you, Joe. Get yourself fed however you can, as long as it’s between consenting adults. .

        • Highly unlikely with all the slurping going on by you! Justin and Aaron know relief is near when you are around! I just call them as I see them and hurl little jabs at “progressive” jokes like yourself. Be sure to pack a napkin whenever you tune into the latest Wherry slop! I’m sure his lack of journalistic integrity is somehow Harpers fault as well!

    • Grace Foundation’s ratio of “administrative overhead” to actual charitable spending indicates their registration should come under review … there’s no way that ratio is acceptable. Perhaps it’s an indication of their accounting practices!

  13. They threaten charities with losing their tax status if they venture too close to politics, which seems to mean disagreeing with the governing party. And now they’re dragging a bunch of charities into the middle of partisan politics publicly. Publicly! Sending confidential documents from charities to newspapers. Not a good way to treat charities.

  14. Trudeau’s office denies receiving info. Trudeau’s office denies getting phone calls. Trudeau’s office denies and smears charities. So what else is new? That’s how his father operated. The Big Deny.

    Friday Trudeau’s office vigorously denied any wrongdoing, saying all MPs speak for money while skipping their MP responsibilities. One apologist blamed Bob Rae and Michael Ignatieff for their treatment of Trudeau. So there’s an internecine battle ongoing. Has the next leadership fight begun already?

    As it turns out, only 3 MPs have charged money to speak in recent years: all Liberals. One, Marc Garneau, was booked to speak before he was elected. The other, Kristy Duncan, is a Ph.D. with specific expertise in her field. She doesn’t charge for rah-rah fundraisers. Other MPs and cabinet ministers from across Canada appear weekly at fundraisers, giving speeches, hosting raffles, and generally helping organizations. Their offices are contacted, the invitation considered based on their schedules and needs to be in the House of Commons, and they appear.

    Word is that Trudeau’s office handles it much differently. When his office is contacted, they re-direct calls to the for-profit booking agency. Has Trudeau done any speeches for which he did NOT charge? How can a publicly funded school board in Kingston, Ontario justify spending $15,000 to have Trudeau speak “about the future”? And they paid $780 to have a limo drive him to and fro Ottawa. Kingston also has an airport and a train station. Did the school board not have a volunteer who would drive the rookie MP to the speech and home? What else do school boards waste money on when it’s supposed to spent children’s educations? [This event had nothing to do with children.]

    • Please return to yoru acutal work, PMO staffer.

      • Probably a graduate of the Manning School of “Democracy”

      • You know why Harper keeps winning elections?

        Because it IS true that CPC supporters commenting on boards are real people, and are NOT being paid by anyone!!

        YOU cannot understand that and that’s why you find yourself so surprised when Harper keeps winning! Open your mind. Open your eyes! See what is REALLY going on!

        I am accused constantly of being a paid PMO staffer. I AM NOT!

        • You should really take it as a compliment.

          People prefer to think you’re being paid then that you might actually believe what you’re spewing.

        • Yeah; you’re just a groupie. Hanging out by the stage door, hoping Harper will notice you & take you back to his room.
          (Oh Gawd, the visuals – GET OUT! GET OUT!)

        • Harper has only “won” one election, the last one. Hopefully it will remain the last one.

          • I agree. the dirt that was under the rug has been coming out in droves.Lets see if one of the other two can do better

    • Hey look! One of the short-pants from the brain trust at the PMO out correcting all the misinformation out in the real world. You seem a little rattled. Jumping around 40 years backwards, forward a bit, a little guessing, a lot of accusing with no first-hand anything in hand. The best I can gather here is that you have a bone to pick with anyone who “speaks” is that the gist? Just wondering, how many cons are in jail or facing charges right now, I’ve lost count. Anyway seems you’re stuck with a lousy attack line. You throw in a couple of demeaning cheap shots and pronounce “mission accomplished” The numbers you copied and pasted have been public knowledge for years and weren’t a problem until JT became a problem for Harper. The issue is no longer about someone who got paid to “speak” it is now about the slimy PM who uses his (actually ours) office, and taxpayer money to harass his opponent. But then you’re a con and in way over your head on this one so there is no possible way you could understand. By the way, seen any cancelled $90,172.00 cheques laying around the office, maybe behind he credenza?

      • Hey look: another person thinking that commenters here are being paid for posting.

        YOU are so wrong! You have nothing but false accusations to make and then you wonder why Harper keeps winning elections!

    • Once you start blaming the father (who passed away more than a decade ago) for the son, you’ve lost any attention or interest you might have gleaned. Now you have entered the Realm of the Pathetic Partisan.

      And once you get there, to the RoPP, people who actually want to discuss an issue start to skip your comments altogether. So if you want to make any meaningful noise, ratchet it down a bit.

  15. So this is what it`s come to.

    One of the biggest liberal media supporting Trudeau has sent out a dispatch that he is miffed that the PMO has done his job for him.

    Having failed to do any investigation, any inquiring, about the almost $300,000 that Trudeau has received from churches, and teacher associations, and charities the lefty media is now angry that the truth has come out and they are lashing out, not at someone who would take this ill-gotten money, but at the messenger.

    I thought the low point of journalism was already reached, but it appears this is as low as they can go.

    • One wonders why this vital source that has exposed Trudeau did not want to be named or identified in any way. I mean, they were only helping Canadians understand the kind of person who wants to be our PM. Curious, innit?

      • Exactly, The “wronged” party in this episode is hiding out while the evil exploiter is offering to make a donation and answering questions in a straightforward manner.

        I think Trudeau made an error in judgment, but I think the contrast between his handling of it, and the behaviour of his detractors says an awful lot about the character of both parties. None if it is very flattering to the partisan attack dogs.

        • What error in judgement. People offered a contract for him to provide a legitimate service. Motivational speaking has been around for a few hundred years and will be around for many years to come. If some amateur promotes an event and fails to deliver you cannot blame the performer. If you hire the Stones to put on a concert and you pick the wrong venue or a bad date and you lose your shirt tough cookies, live with it. This entire issue is about a slimy cur, Harper, trying desperately to rub the shine off a rock star politician. One he is peeing his pants over because he knows, in the end, Trudeau will kick his butt in the next election. The issue is not about Trudeau, it is about using taxpayer dollars and the Office of the Prime Minister for partisan politics. Period.

          • I think his error was in failing to foresee the political fallout of accepting large speaking fees from charities. I think his subsequent actions show that he agrees that it was an error in judgement.

            Also, if he did in fact skip out of the House of Commons in order to moonlight then I think he should definitely donate the entire amount made on those days back to the people of Canada (never mind the charities). We’re still carrying a massive debt in this country after all.

            It’s not an all-or-nothing proposition. I do think that Trudeau owes an explanation if he wants to emerge unscathed from this. I just refuse to buy into the manufactured hysteria about it.

          • You know, this issue shines a light on how some of these “charitable foundations” and non profits work. And maybe people should start paying more attention about just where their charity dollars go. There are something like 150 breast cancer charities in ON alone — and when you go to a gala fundraiser, you should know going in that most of your money is going to pay for the venue, the speakers, and the food and drinks. Precious little actually goes to help the poor folks on the posters. So maybe attending that big fat supper and dance that was so fun should not make people feel good, but rather make them ask questions about the breakdown of where the funds raised are going to go.

            I have subbed work to an agency for a huge national disease foundation. Three reps from the charity regularly flew across the country (they had an agency that was five provinces over for some reason) and went out dining and drinking every time. Of course, the agency simply charged back the expenses to entertain the clients.

            I quit after one campaign because I do not need money that badly — I do not want to figure out how to play on the emotions of grandparents to persuade them to send money in — this is what they did: found stories of children dying of the disease (or who had died) and promoted them.

    • There is nothing ill-gotten about the money he earned.

      Stop being such a loser.

      • He took $20,000 for a short speech at a charity fundraiser that lost $21,000.

        Let the people judge his actions.

        • The poor charity he took money from paid themselves 3.8 million while supplying 2.1 million for actual charity work. That would be around 35% to charity the rest in their pockets. Let the people be the judge of their actions and of your support for this slimy attack.

        • I think we should be judging the wisdom of the fundraisers more than we should be judging Trudeau here. As pointed out above… nothing ill-gotten here.

        • He was contracted by a multi-million dollar corporation to be the lead fundraiser for a new fundraising initiative by said corporation, not just to give a short speech. They used his name to market the fundraiser, apparently they did a pretty poor job of making a success out of it.

          Trudeau was a vendor for this fundraising initiative just like the AV company that provided equipment, the caterer’s who provided the food and the owners of the building who provided a location for the event.

          • Yup!

        • So if you hire someone to do something at the agreed-upon price; they deliver; and through your own incompetence you lose money… it is the fault of the person you hired?

        • I prefer to judge the actions of the incompetent people running the charity. Seems to me they are lacking in basic math skills.

      • How much of Justin’s OWN money did he use to finance his LPC leadership campaign?

        If Justin used private money for his leadership bid, then some of that money DID come out of those speaking engagements while he skipped the House!

        Investigate Justin’s paper trail!

        • Drink!

    • You may not like it, but he is a public speaker (yes relying on his name) by trade. He raises money for groups, most of whom seem happy!

      • Harper quit his job he held before being elected an MP.

        Justin wanted to keep his job AND be an MP.

        Choices have been made. Nothing to hide. Nothing to make excuses over.

        Justinn is Justin and Harper is Harper. Follow the personal money trail and Harper will come out the cleanest!!

        • Ohfergawdsakes. Harper quit the National Citizens Coalition. Running a partisan lobby group is hardly compatible with the highest office in the land..

        • Hard to work in the mail room and still run the country.

        • Do we know if he was being supported by the people who became the Reform Party? Of course he was, and by support, I mean . . .

    • You want the media to investigate a legal agreement between 2 parties involving payment for services rendered? Do you actually think every organization that paid Trudeau was forced to do so?

      This is how much Trudeau scares you,

      • Justin could have said NO to getting a fee!

        All other MP’s say NO to fees from charities!

        Justin had a choice! Was Justin not aware he had choices?????

        • So what?

          Should th media investigate very lawful choice every politician makes? Personally I prefer if they focus on Harper using my tax dollars for his partisan attacks.

    • BINGO!

      • I knew you two were playing some kind of game…

    • Wherry can go pretty low.

  16. Pull dirty tricks on your own time, PMO staffers.

    • Pull dirty tricks on your own dime, CBC!

  17. Try to imagine that Stephen Harper had supplemented his MP income for the 5 years before he became CPC leader by taking money from charities for speaking engagements.

    I know, I know—–you`re thinking that they would not want him speaking about fiscal restraint and discipline——-but try to imagine.

    Now try to imagine the good liberal journalists ignoring the fact that he took this money from charities. Try to imagine them making excuses for him when the truth came out———He is a good speaker—–it`s capitalism—-the information was leaked from his political opponents.

    Are you still with me—-still imagining…………………………………………………..

    • Why would anyone want to follow your deeply flawed world view? You’re nothing more than a made up persona out of the PMO trying to find some way to justify dirty politics. No one, expect other simpletons, are buying it. Ooooh, the evil lefty media…ooooh real scary.,,hahahahaha

    • Some might be glad he had a real world job outside of politician and working for that crazy national citizens something or other.

    • Yeesh, I prefer a public speaker to someone who has only worked as:

      a) A lobbyist
      b) A political operative
      c) a politician

    • He may have not taken money from charities, but his whole career he has been deep into the pockets of big oil.

      • Oh, you mean like Justin Trudeau’s million dollar trust fund, which just so happened to come from his family making millions in the GAS STATION business?

        Should be fun to see Trudeau bending himself into a pretzel attacking “Big Oil” while at the same time living a luxurious Trust Fund Baby lifestyle on the profits of big oil.

  18. There’s no bar beneath which the Cons will not crawl. And the people (probably frat boys) who are crawling through the muck in this case are, evidently, doing so on the public’s dime.

    • Yes, Trust Fund Trudeau can take $20,000 from an old folks charity to top off his million dollar trust fund his daddy left him, and it’s the Conservative’s who are the bad guys for pointing it out.


      • Yup…and that’s pretty much how much of the electorate seems to be interpreting it, too, according to recent polls.

  19. Anxiously awaiting “research” on the CUPE members who’ve just requested Trudeau refund the speaking fee he charged them.

    Who in the PMO put them up to this? Any CPC donors there guys? Maybe you can find someone at CUPE whose neighbor had a Conservative lawn sign or something. Or maybe Naumetz can find something wrong in their financials now that they’ve declared themselves enemies of Shiny Pony

    • CUPE is a well-known front for the PMO.

    • Simple enough.. the NDP are also looking for something to attack Trudeau on… wouldn’t be a stretch that they decided to pile on, and some of their allies in CUPE would be happy to oblige.

      • But I thought CUPE was a front for the PMO?

    • I’d imagine that every group Trudeau has ever spoken to for a fee is going to ask him to return the money now.

      If I were in their position, and heard that a group that had paid him to speak had asked that he give the money back after he spoke, I know that my immediate reaction would have been “Wait! We can do that!?!?!”. My second reaction would be, “Hey, let’s do that!”.

      Canadians who work for companies that lost money last year were probably already anxious about whether or not they might get a letter one day announcing that they’ve been laid off. Now, they’re no doubt worrying that they may get a letter one day asking them to give back some of the money they were paid last year for services rendered. ;-)

    • “However, the union would likely have booked, and paid, another guest speaker if Mr. Trudeau hadn’t taken the gig”
      And likely true of every other speech he has given.
      What truly offends you? That these groups are spending money to hire speakers? Or that Trudeau is getting a cut of the action? He’s a hired hand; if the money hadn’t gone to him, it would have gone to someone else.

      • This comment was deleted.

        • Um… it happened here three times in a row. And he got more seats every time. Although I guess by now he’s more an unqualified professional…

  20. Would someone please look into the expenses claimed by Trudeau while fundraising for the Liberals over the past 5 years ?

    It would be good to know that he did not use any of his MP expense account while doing Party politics.

    Maybe if someone knows a journalist they could help out. Just ask them to use the same scrutiny that they used on Duffy and Wallin.

    If the media fails in their responsibility, then let`s hope the truth gets out somehow.

    • Why just Trudeau?

      If you’re going to look at his you have to look at every MP’s expenses for the last 5 years. I have no problem with it but you can’t single out one MP and demand they and they only need to be looked into.

  21. Why did the CBC decide to fabricate stories?

    Why does the CBC not have to name sources when it reports (falsely) on there being a CPC ‘secret fund’; a story which then turned into the ‘no one has denied it’ story?

    THAT false reporting warrants a full and extensive investigation specially because the CBC is paid for by the tax payers and the CBC has no right to undermine the current government with reporting false stories about anyone!

    • Drink!

  22. Proof positive that the PMO is a branch of the CPC paid for with tax dollars. Instead of jumping on Trudeau for his speeches, some of which (like the Barrie speech the PMO was busted distributing info about) he made while a private citizen, maybe we should be looking at why the PMO is directly involved in partisan mudslinging – and just how many of our dollars and what percentage of PMO resources they devote to such things.

  23. Exactly – the CPC thought it would predate on what it perceived to be Canadian electorate ignorance about how charitable speaking works, and set their e-goons on spreading the gospel.

    Watch – I’ll bet not a single CPC member or senator every raised any money for charity in the last year, probably because they have been instructed to in preparation for this ‘dramatic’ and ‘revelatory’ defamation attempt. In place of that, they decided instead to find their money elsewhere, like travel budgets, or the ever-aloof Canadian taxpayer’s bottomless pockets.

    Each CPC attack is backfiring huge, and is serving to make me more engaged in THEIR corruption as a direct response to their attempts at deflection. I haven’t been this interested in politics for years! Thanks Mr. Harper!

    Just go the Don Cherry route: worry about how you look, not your own integrity. As you get older, say increasingly bigoted and nonsensical things. Make sure you interrupt
    and lambast the calm, pragmatic guy next to you. And certainly don’t
    worry about those Euros – pff – socialists, all of them.

  24. I love the spin the Conservatives have tried to put on this. Firstly, the letter that has been released wasn’t sent to Trudeau directly, but to the booking agent that handled his speaking engagements so Justin may never have even seen the complaint before he was blindsided by it. Secondly, according to the G&M, the letter was written by a Ms. Buck, not Ms. Baxter, so by what right did she release private correspondence of the charity to the Conservative MP for the riding that her husband was on the executive for? Thirdly, the charity approached Mr. Trudeau, they negotiated a speaker’s fee and signed a binding contract, now, after initially stating that the event was a success, months later they want a refund? Finally it is the PMO that starts to peddle this stuff, but wants it to be named as from an anonymous source? That’s because they knew it wouldn’t pass the smell test to the vast majority of the Canadian Electorate. All they’ve done is energise their base whilst turning the stomachs of all fair thinking Canadians.

    I LOVE the smell of desperation from the Conservatives, it smells like,… VICTORY!!

  25. This looks so very cheezy on the part of the Grace Foundation. You’d think they’d be concerned that folks in general, stop supporting them. That would be like shooting themselves in the foot…what a sad state and embarassing for Saint-John and NB in general.

  26. Apparently Wherry believes that Conservatives should not be allowed to get involved in charities. Wherry, you are such a crack reporter! Wow.

  27. Grace Foundation has lost all confidence by playing this Harper game. Really pathetic and who would ever donate to them after this type of shenanigans. What exactly does Harper and the Cons have on the people affiliated with the Grace Foundation? Come on investigative reporters do your job!

    • who would ever donate to them after this type of shenanigans

      Oh, I dunno. Maybe people who care about seniors? It’s amazing that so many Liberals feel it’s alright to punish the needy because they may have been receiving help from Conservative’s. Shameful, really.

  28. This is the sound of the media attempting to change the channel.

  29. Harper’s biggest threat is Justin Trudeau, who is riding high in the polls while Harper sinks like a stone. This is character assassination, pure and simple. As dirty and disgusting as the slander Iggy pamphlets the Conservatives distributed around the country, even to Liberal and NDP ridings.

    It is deeply disturbing the PMO is spending its time and our money on this kind of thing, when running the country should be its first priority. Clearly when the PMO’s communications officer (whose salary is paid by you and me) contacted the Barrie Advance, she thought she could use PMO to influence a newspaper to slander Trudeau. This is a shocking abuse of power.

  30. ALL of this looks to me as Dirty Politics on behalf of the staff at the PMO.This whole thing has been blown out of proportion.The media too should share the blame as well.They may have publicized this without doing more checking.Is there a lesson here?I for one voter hopes so/.Nowonder ther is a poor showing at the polls at election time.