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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
Trost Sheds the Gag

Trost Sheds the Gag Rule

Conservative Member of Parliament Brad Trost created a bit of a stir this week when he publicly criticized a decision of his own government. What made his comments so newsworthy was the rarity of the occasion as it is most unusual for Conservative MPs to speak publicly against any government decision.
10/04/2011 03:34 EDT
Muzzling Flickr: Noema Parez

Muzzling Ministers?

All too often, the Conservatives designate a minister with little knowledge of a file to defend it against opposition attacks. Quite often this is done by one of their attack dogs. Other than the present administration, I don't recall that happening under previous Liberal or Conservative governments.
09/22/2011 09:31 EDT
The NDP Leader Post and the Stephane Dion CP Files

The NDP Leader Post and the Stephane Dion Factor

Any time a leadership race becomes a contest of two heavyweights, there is the risk that each side and their supporters will drag out the vote to a bitter conclusion. That leaves room for the 'Stephane Dion' factor to come into play.
09/17/2011 05:45 EDT
Conservative Crashing of NDP Caucus CP

Conservative Crashing of NDP Caucus "Just Plain Dumb"

With a majority government, it is time for the Conservatives to act like one. Four years from now voters will pass judgement on this government not only for its policies, but also for the way it has acted. Stunts like Conservative MP Jacques Gourde crashing today's NDP caucus retreat won't earn them any votes.
09/14/2011 02:51 EDT
Is it Time For a Referendum on the

Is it Time For a Referendum on the Monarchy?

I suspect most Canadians don't mind the monarchy being in the background. However, if the Conservatives keep trying to reinforce our ties to the monarchy, the public will begin to take a closer look at the issue and evaluate what remains of those ties.
09/12/2011 12:27 EDT
An NDP-Liberal Merger Isn't CP

An NDP-Liberal Merger Isn't on

There have been some suggestions that the Liberals and NDP could cooperate in Question Period and this is a valid point. A united strategy could offer them the opportunity to hold the government to account. But any NDP leadership candidate proposing a merger will find out how quickly they lose support.
09/02/2011 12:35 EDT
Potential NDP Leaders, Are You In or AP

Potential NDP Leaders, Are You In or Out?

It doesn't matter who wins the crown in the next NDP leadership race, because they will be constantly compared to Layton. Potential leadership candidates will need to evaluate if it is better to jump in now or wait until there is a future leadership opening when they can be more fairly judged.
08/25/2011 01:23 EDT
Hardly a Hidden CP

Hardly a Hidden Agenda

I am enjoying all the debate that Harper's addition of the word "Royal" to our navy and air force has created. Some suggest that Harper is trying to recast our history so that it is seen from a conservative slant. But there is nothing wrong with knowing and understanding our history and that includes our symbols and traditions.
08/23/2011 08:55 EDT
Remembering Jack CP

Remembering Jack Layton

Canadians from coast to coast could admire Jack Layton's attempts to turn down the volume in the House of Commons and we were encouraged by his efforts to get the various parties working together. We admired his discipline and courage during the campaign as he waved his walking stick in the face of his pain
08/22/2011 11:52 EDT
Is the NDP Becoming the New

Is the NDP Becoming the New Bloc?

It looks like we are in for another session of whining from Quebec NDP members, this time over the number of seats Quebec will have in the House of Commons after the next redistribution of seats.
08/18/2011 03:55 EDT
You Can Run But You Can't

You Can Run But You Can't Hide

Knowing whether or not someone wants to break up the country is a valid concern for a Quebec MP as well as all NDP, Conservative and Liberal MPs. Unfortunately, the questionnaire regarding past political affiliations was only sent to the NDP members; why not send it to all Quebec MPs?
08/15/2011 09:02 EDT
The Nycole Turmel Issue Is Good Political

The Nycole Turmel Issue Is Good Political Theatre

For all of the parties and for each MP, the issue of Bloc Québécois membership should really boil down to a simple question. Do you still support separatism? Yes or no? No waffling allowed.
08/10/2011 04:04 EDT
NDP and Liberals Embark on a Phoney CP

NDP and Liberals Embark on a Phoney War

Bob Rae, a known quantity, versus the NDP's NycoleTurmel, an unknown quantity, should still give him the edge. Even if the media and the other parties allow her a short honeymoon period, the knives will be out soon enough and combat joined in the near future.
07/29/2011 09:11 EDT
Citizenship Is CP File

Citizenship Is Earned

The government will attempt to strip some 1,800 people of their Canadian citizenship as it is alleged it was obtained through fraudulent means. Good for the government. This move can serve as a signal to the rest of the world that our citizenship is something to be valued.
07/20/2011 04:17 EDT
First Nations Present a Vision for the Future; Does Harper See it CP

First Nations Present a Vision for the Future; Does Harper See it Too?

The First Nations National Chief has spoken about the need to repeal the Indian Act and abolish the Department of Aboriginal Affairs. But this is only one side of the argument. The First Nations have presented their vision of the future. Perhaps it's time for the government to present its vision too.
07/15/2011 02:49 EDT
Jason Kenney on the Human Smuggling Ship: Lots of Noise, Little

Jason Kenney on the Human Smuggling Ship: Lots of Noise, Little Substance

If it's proven that the intercepted human smuggling ship was not coming to Canada, Jason Kenney can say he never said it was. If it's proven it was en route to our shores he can say I told you so. I believe the minister was simply piggy-backing on a media story to press his political agenda.
07/13/2011 03:34 EDT
Stephen Harper Arrogant? Not

Stephen Harper Arrogant? Not Yet

In the end, Stephen Harper's short talk in Calgary was nothing more than a political speech with a bit of humour thrown into the mix. I wonder if the same folks attacking Harper's comments would consider Jack Layton's other comments as arrogant?
07/11/2011 04:05 EDT
NDP Filibuster: The Wrong Political CP

NDP Filibuster: The Wrong Political Discipline

Why the NDP would pick this hill to die on is anyone's guess. Their filibuster cost the union's membership addition pay while at the same time angering the voters that just recently sent them to Ottawa.
06/28/2011 01:46 EDT
Canada Post Lockout: Why the Need for AP

Canada Post Lockout: Why the Need for Intervention?

On the one hand the government keeps telling us that we have the strongest economy of western nations, now they are telling us one full postal shutdown lasting just 11 days will have dire consequences for the nation. How many other strikes will they intervene in now? Should the government be looking at privatizing Canada Post as has been done in Germany?
06/25/2011 09:27 EDT