Liberal employment of Kevin Chan is extremely sensitive for the government because the Privy Council advises Harper on policy, administrative and political matters.
“(Chan) has as much access to information as the prime minister himself,” a senior government official told The Canadian Press on Wednesday.
That includes cabinet confidences, agendas and highly confidential information on the federal budget to be delivered Jan. 27, said the official. […]
“Are we to also assume that for the next three months he will have zero contact – even a fireside chat – with the leader of the Opposition where he shares information that he’s not at liberty to share?” asked the official.
“We can presume, but we cannot be 100 per cent (certain).” […]
“If he had fundamental disagreements with the government’s direction, he should have asked to be transferred somewhere else (long ago),” fumed the official.
Now, if ITQ were that senior government official, she might consider being just a little more cautious when speaking to the press, even when doing so anonymously. After all, she wouldn’t want someone to think she was implying that Chan might violate his confidentiality agreements during a “fireside chat” with his new boss. In any case, it will be fascinating to see whether this defection – for that, it seems, is how the government views his departure – casts a pall over future PMO-PCO relations.
UPDATE: In the comment thread from yesterday’s post on this issue, ITQ provides a little more background on the possible blurring of the lines between PMO and PCO, which may explain why our unnamed friend above is so aggrieved by Chan’s departure. (Or, to be more accurate, not so much his departure as his destination.)