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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

Paul Martin Should Get Off Aboriginal High Horse

I was disappointed to see former Prime Minister Paul Martin attack Harper on the First Nations conference yesterday. First Nations issues should cross party lines. I would have preferred to see him offer to work with the present Prime Minister, rather than refight old battles.
01/25/2012 12:01 EST

Social Media Reacts Emotionally to Obama's Pipeline Nix

Opposition groups can organize and protest much more quickly on social media. While a government argues facts, figures, and economic benefits, groups argue on an emotional level. In political terms we used to refer to this as appealing to the head or heart, with the heart usually winning.
01/19/2012 05:42 EST

How to Fix Question Period -- Part 2

Are our MPs incapable of asking a 35 second question without reading it word for word? Are our ministers so poorly briefed that they can't respond to a question within 35 seconds without reading a scripted answer word for word?
01/09/2012 12:44 EST

New Civility, Out; Bad Behaviour, Back In

In a parliament where caustic behavior has become the norm, bad behavior gets the spotlight (Justin Trudeau as an example), rudeness is rewarded, and low-key dedicated MPs who are the backbone of our system are ignored and overlooked by the voting public. The net result is an electorate disgusted with the behaviour they see on the news.
01/04/2012 05:48 EST
Getty Images

2012 Political Forecast: Anything but Grey

Canadian political life in 2012 will be anything but dull: uncertain economic times that could either strengthen or weaken Conservative support; two opposition parties in flux, fighting for influence and voter support; and a new leader for the NDP and the Conservative political machine.
01/03/2012 07:05 EST

Put Attawapiskat's People First, and Politics Second

If Attawapiskat wants the continued support of the public over an extended period of time, it has to show that they are managing funds effectively. But in the meantime, who is helping the people who need housing now? Fight it out in court and do your audits after you take care of the emergency.
12/08/2011 08:58 EST

Attawapiskat: Let the Finger Pointing Begin

There will be lots of individuals and government officials or departments that we can point to and blame for the third-world living conditions on our reserves. But in the end we need to turn our finger inward and point at ourselves.
12/01/2011 12:08 EST

NDP Leadership Race Is a Campaign of Nobodies

While the candidates are a decent bunch of individuals, can Canadians envision all but a couple of them as the next prime minister of Canada? I say that because in the end, that is what this leadership race is all about. Whoever wins could be our next prime minister.
11/28/2011 12:46 EST
Getty Images

Time to Chop Food Price Inflation

The government tells us that a daily servings meat and dairy products are essential to our health, but the Conservatives still allow supply management organizations to inflate the prices we pay for these crucial items. Prices far above what our American neighbours pay for the same products.
11/17/2011 09:16 EST
AFP/Getty Images

Love Him or Loathe Him, Harper's Doing What He Said He'd Do

The danger for the Conservatives is that this way of operating can become the easy way out to avoid extensive debate on issues that are controversial. Sooner or later the public will see this as Harper bullying the opposition parties or as Harper being undemocratic, and they will see the Conservatives as arrogant.
11/04/2011 09:02 EDT

Who Cares if Michael Ferguson Can't Speak French?

As Christmas approaches, what will be the topic of discussion around the kitchen table across Canada? Will it be the language proficiency of the auditor general or will Canadians be ticked off with having to pay far higher prices than Americans for the same items?
11/03/2011 12:10 EDT

Who Is Looking Out for the Consumer?

Canadian consumers are growing increasingly frustrated that we pay more than our American neighbours for the same products even though our dollar is comparable to the US dollar. The problem for Harper is how do you contain that frustration and prevent it from turning into anger that can cost you votes?
10/31/2011 12:22 EDT

Will the NDP Stand Up For Consumers?

While the NDP is so concerned about the U.S. surcharge for Canadian travellers, what about all of those marketing boards that inflate the price Canadian consumers pay?
10/26/2011 09:04 EDT

Members of Parliament Controlled From Behind the Curtain

Control from the backrooms was always there, but never to the extent that it is now. Until the present generation of MPs, especially in the Conservative caucus, stand up to PMO (and other MPs to their respective leader's offices), not much will happen to improve their lot or that of MPs in general.
10/21/2011 09:13 EDT

Too Occupied to Vote?

The "occupiers" would accomplish more if they would show up on voting day and cast a ballot. They would accomplish more if they financially supported and participated in a political party of their choice.
10/19/2011 09:41 EDT

Let Them Negotiate

A war against unions will feed some red meat to the party base, but at what cost both short and long term to our economy and is it worth the risk at this stage of our economic recovery?
10/12/2011 12:28 EDT
Ontario Liberals

The Moment Hudak Lost

When "foreign workers" story broke I sent a note to a friend of mine on the campaign and said "your team just blew it." It sounded like an angry old white guy's campaign reminiscent of some of the Reform Party campaigns of the 1990s.
10/07/2011 12:47 EDT