Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shares a laugh with government staff while to Manila, Philippines on Nov. 17, 2015. (Photo: Sean Kilpatrick/CP)
Government not identifying individualsHow much help political staff get with relocation costs is at the discretion of each minister; eligible expenses include shipping vehicles and household effects, temporary accommodations, meals, house-hunting expenses and costs related to quitting an existing job. The government has provided a breakdown of moving expenses for political staff in each ministerial office but does not identify the individuals who received assistance. "The team in Ottawa came from coast to coast to coast to serve Canadians and deliver on our promise to grow the middle class and those working hard to join it," government House leader Bardish Chagger told the House of Commons. "This meant that many people had to move to Ottawa with their families and children across the country to serve in Ottawa. As part of this process, some employees received assistance in relocating."
Tory MP: 'Liberals' sense of entitlement is never-ending'But Conservatives weren't buying it. "The Liberals' sense of entitlement is never-ending," said Calkins. "With unemployment rising and families struggling to make ends meet, why did the Liberals think it was somehow okay to spend taxpayers' hard-earned money on these outrageous staff expenditures?" echoed fellow Tory MP Karen Vecchio. The PMO accounted for the heftiest relocation bill. Other big spenders included: — Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains's office, which spent more than $150,000 to move two staffers; — Global Affairs Minister Stephane Dion's office, spending just over $146,000 for nine staffers; — Environment Minister Catherine McKenna's office, which spent more than $116,000 for four staffers; — Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould's office, which moved six staffers to the tune of nearly $114,000.
7 staffers produce YouTube videosOn the YouTube videos, the government revealed that "on average," seven employees in the Privy Council Office are involved in the production. Moreover, it disclosed that PCO has spent $6,255 on travel and accommodations while filming the videos and almost $2,000 in overtime for one PCO staffer. The questions on the videos were put on the order paper by Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre. As a minister in the previous Harper government, Poilievre faced criticism for making public servants work overtime to film what the opposition termed "vanity videos" of him promoting enhanced child benefits.
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