Trudeau’s top aides billed $200,000 for moves to Ottawa

The Globe and Mail reports costs were mostly for legal and real estate fees

Justin Tang/CP

Justin Tang/CP

OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail is reporting taxpayers were billed more than $200,000 in moving expenses for two of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s top aides.

A source told the newspaper that Gerald Butts, the prime minister’s principal secretary, and Katie Telford, his chief of staff, were reimbursed for moving their families from Toronto to Ottawa.

The Globe reports the costs were mostly for legal and real estate fees covering the sale of their million-dollar homes.

One move cost almost $127,000, while the other was more than $80,000, though it’s unclear which expenses were associated with which aide.

The news comes a day after it was revealed taxpayers have forked out $1.1 million to move some four dozen political staffers to Ottawa after Trudeau’s Liberals won power last fall.

The expenses were disclosed by the government in response to Opposition questions on the order paper.

“People in Alberta are struggling and losing their homes, savings and livelihoods, but the prime minister is more concerned with making sure his friends are compensated,” Conservative MP Blaine Calkins said Wednesday in question period. “How can the prime minister justify to struggling Albertans this absolutely ridiculous waste of money?”

In a statement, Kate Purchase, a spokeswoman for the prime minister, said the government has had a relocation policy for public servants and ministerial staff since the 1970s. She said the current policy was also in place under the previous Conservative government since January 2011.

“Some people across government, and in the PMO, moved from rental to rental, others sold their homes and moved their families to Ottawa,” Purchase said.

“In the case of the two larger numbers for the PMO, the vast majority of the costs had to do with real estate and legal fees.”

Butts declined comment when reached by The Canadian Press, while Telford could not be reached for comment.


Trudeau’s top aides billed $200,000 for moves to Ottawa

  1. Meanwhile Trudeau thinks it is ok for people to live in poverty so that companies can have ‘cost effective labour’, as the Liberals plan to reopen the foreign worker program. I guess his friends are the only ones worthy of decent wages these days?
    You might want to watch this TVO documentary on the abuse of foreign workers in southern Ontario:

  2. I propose the discovery of a new medical condition. I call it the “Mike Duffy Syndrome”.
    I define it as the uncontrollable compulsion of Canadian politicians to submit invoices for personal goods and/or services received, to be paid for by the unsuspecting Canadian taxpayer.
    I have not yet determined whether this syndrome is congenital or acquired. It is highly contagious. It is non-fatal and its victims survive quite nicely for many years without permanent after effects.
    The sufferer, when confronted, invariably pleads ignorance and embarrassment. They may or may not become apologetic or defiant. If they are apologetic, what they are really sorry about is getting caught.
    They invariably promise to repay their debt, but the replacement funds rarely come from their own pocket.
    To date, there is no known cure for this increasingly common disease.