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Keith Beardsley

President, Cenco Public Affairs

Mr. Beardsley spent over 30 years in active Canadian politics from the municipal to the federal level. During that period, he was a community activist, an elected municipal councillor, and senior adviser to five Conservative Party leaders and to former Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper.

He has served as the political Chief of Staff in three departments; Immigration, Citizenship Immigration and Multiculturalism, and Secretary of State.

Mr. Beardsley was also the head of the Conservative Party’s research arm, where he created one of the most effective rapid response teams in Canadian politics. He has been a key player in several political war rooms and has taken part in over a dozen election campaigns.

As well Mr. Beardsley was a senior advisor to Mr. Harper, serving as his Deputy Chief of Staff for Issues Management.

Today, Mr. Beardsley is a political pundit and analyst, and his political blog is widely read by political staff and elected officials from all political parties. He contributes to a number of newspapers and he is a frequent guest and commentator on radio and television.

Mr Beardsley's political blog can be found at http://www.atory01.com

The Myth of Open Nomination Contests

Nomination battles are fascinating to watch and if you are part of one it is an exhilarating experience. The hype of "open nominations" will continue as all parties try to prove to the media and public that there is a new way of doing business now. Let us see how long it takes before we start hearing complaints from potential challengers about how they were dealt with during this "open" process.
04/01/2014 05:27 EDT
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Rules For Using the Government Jet Seem Up in the Air

Watching the NDP's feigned outrage at the Conservative's use (misuse) of government aircraft generates flashbacks to when the Conservatives were in opposition. At that time as head of the Conservative research group looking into Liberal misdeeds, we would often check the Challenger jet flight logs. Upon assuming office in February 2006 realty set in.
03/31/2014 05:38 EDT
CP

Don't Let Truth Be a Casualty of Democracy

They say that truth is one of the first casualties of war, but it should not be a casualty in the daily war of words we see in the House of Commons. The public may disagree with what you say, we may argue about the facts you tell us or how you interpret them, but remember that your words will still be there for others to see and read decades from now. We are listening, so at least tell us the truth.
03/05/2014 05:09 EST
PC

Spending Scandal: Canadians Won't Abide $72,000 in Moving Expenses

Once again we have a spending scandal occupying the attention of Canadians. This time however, it doesn't involve our esteemed senators but two former generals, Andrew Leslie who is presently a senior Liberal advisor and Daniel Menard who retired in disgrace from the armed forces. Leslie claimed $72,000 for moving expenses and Menard claimed $40,000.
02/18/2014 12:11 EST
Getty

Did Trudeau Clean Up the Senate or Make a Bigger Mess?

Justin Trudeau probably shocked his Senate caucus colleagues more than the voting public today when he announced he was removing Liberal senators from the Liberal caucus, thereby limiting the caucus to elected members of parliament. Eventually the dust will settle and the real reason for this move will become evident, but for now Trudeau is in the limelight and he will have the Conservatives scrambling and perhaps the NDP as well. The truth is no one including Trudeau knows and we will only find that out down the road and closer to the next election.
01/29/2014 12:32 EST
CP

Why Tory MPs Could Be Looking For Work

Last month, Brian Jean announced that he is leaving the federal political scene this month. When opportunity knocks some MPs will decide enough is enough. No one can predict how many, but it is pretty safe to say we haven't seen the last member of the Conservative caucus decide that their future is not in Ottawa.
01/17/2014 12:28 EST
ASSOCIATED PRESS

How Conservative Scandal Tainted the Byelection

It takes some of the shine off of your team's win if your party sees a significant drop in the margin of victory in two of your party's strongholds. Most observers point to the senate scandal as the reason for the drop and certainly the Conservative caucus feels that way.
11/26/2013 12:33 EST
CP

It Ain't Over: Why the Suspended Senators Won't Go Gently

The senators are suspended without pay for two years, a.k.a. November 2015, just after the date for the next election. In a perfect world, the Conservatives won't have to deal with them until then. But this isn't a perfect world. They have banished three senators, two of whom are master story tellers and media savvy. Two household names who have nothing to lose by fighting back. How many binders of emails and documents do they have in their possession? How many will find their way into the public domain?
11/06/2013 12:55 EST
Getty

Senate Scandal: Harper Must Pause, Reflect and Move Forward

With the Senate scandal continuing unabated, there is tremendous wear and tear on everyone involved. These scandals tend to take over your entire day, you become buried in the muck, either throwing it or slipping deeper into it. A political crisis of this magnitude wears staff down and it always impacts on the man at the top. It is time for the Prime Minister to pause and reflect.
10/29/2013 05:11 EDT
Getty

When Will This Senate Scandal Gong Show End?

No one escapes the blame on this one. Conservatives can't even agree if suspending the three senators without due process is the correct way to go. We have Conservative senators and Conservative MPs speaking out against the pending motions -- something that is generally unheard of in this tightly controlled government.
10/28/2013 12:24 EDT
CP

A Throne Speech to Forget

Did Harper's throne speech succeed in hitting the long talked about reset button? Probably not. Will it bury the Senate scandal and move it off the political agenda and out of the public's mind? Definitely not.
10/19/2013 07:55 EDT
Getty Images

Like it or Not, Justin Trudeau Has Staying Power

What do you do when your opponent has the potential to challenge you in some hard-won ridings, possibly putting your majority at risk? That's the question Prime Minister Harper and his advisers are grappling with. Like it or not, the emergence of Justin Trudeau and his staying power has changed the political dynamics in Ottawa.
10/09/2013 12:42 EDT
CP

The NDP's Latest Snoozefest Has Nothing on Trudeau

Yawn: I see the NDP held a virtual Question Period on Twitter in an attempt to hold the Harper government to account. That effort was even less interesting than watching them try to do that live in the House of Commons.
09/17/2013 05:24 EDT
Getty

Prorogation: Who Wins?

It's an interesting dilemma for the opposition. They largely wasted the summer months and only once in a while popped up to remind the public about Conservative scandals. Come September they will have to make up for lost time and lost opportunities, but they won't have Question Period to do that in.
08/23/2013 12:04 EDT
PC

The Senate Scandal Is Just History Repeating Itself

The ongoing RCMP investigation into the Nigel Wright cheque that was given to Senator Duffy plus the potential for further RCMP involvement into allegations around Senator Wallin, means this story and the Senate scandal have the potential to drag on for many more months. All of which spells negative coverage for the Prime Minister and the Conservative Party.
08/15/2013 12:27 EDT
CP

Time for Another Mysterious Cabinet Shuffle

Certainly if all the rumours are to be believed, a shuffle, supposedly a large one is due in the next few weeks. The signs are there with departments preparing ministerial transitional briefing books and talk about a cabinet retreat in the third week of July beginning to circulate.
06/28/2013 12:33 EDT
CP

How the PMO Became the Butt of Its Own Protest

Political staffers always walk a fine line between what they are willing to do and what they shouldn't be doing when it comes to partisan political activities. Today we have a good example of that with allegations in the media that PMO staff had a direct involvement in organizing and coordinating the demonstration that took place earlier this month when Justin Trudeau gave his outdoor press conference. Was it really necessary to protest at Trudeau's press conference? Did the protest achieve its objective and embarrass Trudeau? Did the protest earn positive press coverage for the Conservative Party and more importantly for the Prime Minister?
06/25/2013 11:03 EDT
Getty

A Parliamentary Report Card Before Summer Break

Hopefully the summer break will allow all the parties to reflect on the good and the bad of this past session. When they return let's hope they can tone down the hyper-partisanship a bit and work in the best interests of all Canadians. After all that is why we sent them there.
06/19/2013 05:49 EDT