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Dan-in-Ottawa

Is PM getting good advice?

It is unusual to have Ottawa related political news occurring this time of year.

However, recently the unusual in politics has become the usual.

In late December, media were made aware of what they described as a "secret meeting" that occurred between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Joshua Boyle, who was recently freed after being held in captivity in Afghanistan for the previous five years.
 
Media were suspicious of this particular meeting because it, and the reasons for it, were not publicly disclosed by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

Journalists only discovered this meeting had occurred when members of the Boyle family circulated pictures on social media.
 
This week, Ottawa police announced that Boyle was being charged with 15 different offences from alleged actions that include assault, sexual assault, unlawful confinement, uttering threats, public mischief and administering a noxious thing.

These alleged offences are related to the period of time since Boyle returned to Canada in October 2017.
 
As a result, there are serious questions being asked why the Prime Minister requested a meeting with Boyle. By extension, questions have been raised on security protocols that should protect the Prime Minister.

The judgment of the advisers who represent Trudeau in allowing this meeting to go forward also come into focus.
 
The judgment of the advisers working in the PMO was also raised when the Prime Minister was recently found guilty of four counts of ethics violations. These violations were related to free luxury vacations the Prime Minister accepted from a registered lobbyist who receives millions in Government of Canada funding. 
 
The judgment of advisers and political staff is a subject that is seldom raised outside of Ottawa.
 
For obvious reasons, it is being questioned currently.

I have also had some questions on this topic and I can report that the most recently audited expenses for what is called the “Trudeau PMO” were $8.3 million in the 2016-2017 fiscal period.

As a comparison, this figure is higher than during any year in the previous Prime Minister’s last term in office.
 
All elected officials have staff and in the case of politically appointed staff, they typically only work in their capacity until the writ period, when the election is called. At that point, the vast majority will become unemployed.

Rehiring depends on who is re-elected and if employment is again offered.

In the case of the Prime Minister, some are suggesting a staff shakeup is required. Others see this as unfairly throwing the staff under the bus.

Most agree that answers are needed on why Prime Minister Trudeau met with Boyle and why this meeting was kept confidential.
 
My question this week:

  • Do you believe Canadians deserve an answer to why this meeting was held between Prime Minister Trudeau and Joshua Boyle?


I can be reached by email at [email protected] or at 1-800-665-8711.



More Dan in Ottawa articles

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About the Author

Dan Albas, Conservative member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola, is the shadow minister of innovation, science, economic development and internal trade, and sits on the standing committee on finance.

Before entering public life, Dan was the owner of Kick City Martial Arts, responsible for training hundreds of men, women and youth to bring out their best.

In British Columbia, Dan has been consistently one of the lowest spending MPs on office and administration related costs despite operating two offices to better serve local constituents.

Dan is consistently recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 most active members of Parliament on Twitter (@danalbas) and continues to write a weekly column published in many local newspapers and on this website.

He can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free at 1-800-665-8711.



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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