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PMO staff's six figure moves


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This is up there with Andrew Leslie billing taxpayers a fortune to move several blocks in Ottawa:

A member of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s inner circle billed taxpayers more than $125,000 to move to Ottawa, Global News has learned.

Documents tabled in the House of Commons show an unidentified staffer in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) expensed $126,669.56 in relocation costs in order to move to Ottawa, the highest moving bill for political staff in the Trudeau government. Another PMO staffer, also unidentified, charged $80,382.55.

The total cost to the taxpayer to move five PMO staff to Parliament Hill came in at $220,564.11.

Furthermore:

Canadians will also pick up the tab for a member of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Canada who expensed $75,984.22 in relocation costs, and an employee with Global Affairs who was paid $119,825.69 in relocation costs, including $2,602 in hotel stays. And one staffer for the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development charged $113,799.08.

This is insane........are Trudeau's staffers coming to Ottawa from the Moon? As to the rules:

Eligible costs available to relocating employees under the “core entitlement fund” include; real estate fees, shipping household items up to 9,071.94 kg, shipping a vehicle, house hunting trip expenses, temporary accommodations, and meal allowances among other costs.

These rules are reasonable, and include all government workers required to move for their jobs with the Government....I have no qualms with that.....A family friend, in the Forces, recently moved for their last posting from Halifax to Victoria BC, their cost, moving a four bedroom house worth of stuff and one of their cars (they paid for their truck and boat out of pocket) was just under $10000, in addition, another ~$4000-5000 for him and his wife to fly out and stay house hunting.........I never heard of real estate fees being covered..

Remember Bev Oda's $16 orange juice.........or better yet Mike Duffy????

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Yes, it does sound over the top.

My previous employer was required to ship several large pieces of equipment from Calgary to Cambridge Bay in the Western Arctic, and to do so were required to charter an entire C-130 Hercules through First Air.......and paid just under $35000, including two overnights for the aircrew in Yellowknife.....

Who was responsible for setting up these ridiculous rules in 2008?

Moot point, because all of said expenses are approved higher up the food chain, regardless of department through the new formula, in several of these examples, by the various Ministers

Bev Oda resigned for far less.....

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As to the rules:

I never heard of real estate fees being covered.

Well, they are.

Not only that, but if they are not reimbursed then you get to deduct them as moving expenses.

Had to send in documentation today to the CRA for moving expenses for a client and it included the real estate fees on the sale of the old property, legal fees for both properties, and $18,000 for the property transfer tax on the purchase of the new property.

Who knows, maybe the Feds are reimbursing for some Ontario property transfer tax which, like BC, can really add up.

So, meh to this and Bev's overpriced OJ.

Some day there will be a real scandal to talk about and our dreary boredom will end.....

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Up to $5200 (for commission to the realtor).........

And other expenses at the discretion of the Minister.

If PTT's are good enough to be allowed as a deduction for moving expenses then, logically, they are good enough to be considered a reimbursable expense so perhaps that's part of the reason for the high costs.

Not too many people went "meh" over the orange juice.......or Duffy's expenses upwards of $90k.

Sure, take it up with them over the OJ.

As for Duffy, to some that looks like a bribe among other considerations.

Good thing the rules were/are so lax that he could get away with it.

Not the same thing as reimbursing for moving costs though.

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And other expenses at the discretion of the Minister.

If PTT's are good enough to be allowed as a deduction for moving expenses then, logically, they are good enough to be considered a reimbursable expense so perhaps that's part of the reason for the high costs.

And there lays the difference......Oda spent $1000s on limos and orange juice and got shit canned by Harper resigned......Trudeau appears to approve of the abuses with taxpayers money by his Government.

Sure, take it up with them over the OJ.

As for Duffy, to some that looks like a bribe among other considerations.

Good thing the rules were/are so lax that he could get away with it.

Not the same thing as reimbursing for moving costs though.

Did anyone get convicted in the Duffy saga?

As to the rules, again, it all goes back to the approval received from atop the mountain in each office and ministry........one would think a government concerned with tax dollars would be more prudent with money that wasn't theirs, namely after the flap over Andrew Leslie's 70K two block move...

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I don't know why you are bringing up Bev because I'm not one of the people complaining. So irrelevant.

Take up that fight with the voices in your head if you want. Once again, irrelevant.

As for Duffy - I don't care who got away with it. That stinks pure and simple.

As for this instance: we are talking about reimbursement for moving expenses. Under existing rules which do include land transfer taxes, btw.

Does it stink? Sure.

I doubt it is anywhere close to being bribery or an attempt to hide anything/make-a-scandal-go-away a la Duffy so I doubt it is much different than what we see from any government do as people are moved into their new positions.

So, meh.

Who knows, presumably the relocation expenses will be included in their employment income and, being taxed in Ontario, governments will get ~50% back. Always looking on the bright side of life.....

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I don't know why you are bringing up Bev because I'm not one of the people complaining. So irrelevant.

Take up that fight with the voices in your head if you want. Once again, irrelevant.

As for Duffy - I don't care who got away with it. That stinks pure and simple.

I never said you complained over either cases....after all, your opinion is irrelevant.....But in Opposition, the Liberals sure did.

As for this instance: we are talking about reimbursement for moving expenses. Under existing rules which do include land transfer taxes, btw.

Who cares if they include transfer taxes.......is the average price of a home in Ottawa $3-4 million dollars?

I doubt it is anywhere close to being bribery or an attempt to hide anything/make-a-scandal-go-away a la Duffy so I doubt it is much different than what we see from any government do as people are moved into their new positions.

Duffy and friends were all found to be within the rules........like the Liberals in this case.....but with far less money involved.

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Oooh, more mountains out of mole hills.

Harper will be back in 2019 for sure now.

In your desperation to defend those who are 'good for you', you are steadily becoming one of the biggest hacks on this site. We had years of angst and inquiries over sums that were paid back and less than some of these.

Edited by poochy
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Exactly.....thats what? Four or five middle class household incomes in a year???

When i go through a corporate move just about all of the costs associated with real estate are covered, and the moving costs, but those costs are astronomical, I moved a house full of stuff from the arctic to Ontario and it was a pittance by comparison.

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In your desperation to defend those who are 'good for you', you are steadily becoming one of the biggest hacks on this site. We had years of angst and inquiries over sums that were paid back and less than some of these.

I'm simply saying that people probably won't care about this.

It doesn't relate to them, or their lives, and those kinds of things just don't make people angry, even if it makes them disgusted.

I do see a worrying trend of relatively small money issues (the photographer, the airport lounge [surprised that wasn't a bigger deal] etc) that could creep up on the Liberals.

As for this issue, I don't really like it personally. I think that someone is milking the system. I'm not sure who it is, and I think it should be looked in to.

Then again, I don't know all the details, and don't like to judge without them.

My Harper will be back in 2019 quip was in reference to a meme of Harper shared by the OP in another thread. Do you miss me yet?, it said.

I assure you, most Canadians don't (not that Harper was a bad leader).

Edited by Smallc
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When i go through a corporate move just about all of the costs associated with real estate are covered, and the moving costs, but those costs are astronomical, I moved a house full of stuff from the arctic to Ontario and it was a pittance by comparison.

Sure, its not too bad by sealift, from Montreal or Hay River to the Western Arctic, $3000-5000 for a pick-up or a small container........air freight is where the big money comes into play........but even if the Trudeau Government was moving these staffers households by air it still wouldn't account for this largess..........

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Sure, its not too bad by sealift, from Montreal or Hay River to the Western Arctic, $3000-5000 for a pick-up or a small container........air freight is where the big money comes into play........but even if the Trudeau Government was moving these staffers households by air it still wouldn't account for this largess..........

We don't have a detailed accounting, so it could be anything. I suspect the bulk is living expenses for several weeks until the new staffers found and moved into a place. If the closing was 6 weeks (very conservative estimate) on a house, that would be $12,600 on hotel alone ($300/night for downtown Ottawa). Several trips back and forth, bringing in family, etc. It quickly adds up. Moving expenses would be about $10-$20k for a family across the country, depending on the size of the family and stuff they have, and no not airfreight. I don't understand the real-estate costs being included, but if that is the case then that could easily be $15-$40k.

Edited by ?Impact
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That's an excellent question. Far more details are needed to properly judge this.

Here's some additional "details":

In some cases the costs are allocated for a “total payout,” and it’s not entirely clear where the money was used. For instance, a staff member at Environment and Climate Change Canada was paid $20,449, but the money wasn’t used for moving services or hotel stays, according to the documents.

“If the total cost paid for services was over $20,000, but there were no costs associated with the actual move, exactly where did the taxpayers’ money go?” Alberta Conservative MP Blaine Calkins asked. House Leader Bardish Chagger would say only the relocation was done “in accordance with the rules.”

Furthermore:

Only those political staffers coming to Ottawa to work in the most senior positions in a minister’s office, such as a chief of staff or a director of policy or a director of communications, are eligible.

Most — 35 of the 48 — filed a moving expense claim for less than $5,000. But 10 senior political aides filed moving expense claims of more than $50,000.

Meanwhile, hundreds of other political aides working for politicians from all parties would have had to move to Ottawa at their own expense.

The Liberals are back!!!!!!!!!

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As for this issue, I don't really like it personally. I think that someone is milking the system. I'm not sure who it is, and I think it should be looked in to.

Then again, I don't know all the details, and don't like to judge without them.

My Harper will be back in 2019 quip was in reference to a meme of Harper shared by the OP in another thread. Do you miss me yet?, it said.

I assure you, most Canadians don't (not that Harper was a bad leader).

From the Harper regime, using the same rules:

One Harper-era chief of staff said his minister approved just two moving expense claims during eight years in office and both claims were under $5,000 each.

Another former top Harper-era aide said there was an understanding that nothing more than $20,000 was ever to be paid to relocate a political aide to Ottawa.

Documentation to verify those claims could not be obtained Tuesday.

And when its verified or not, we can compare what Harper era aides expenses were over nearly a decade versus what Trudeau's were in less than a year.

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We don't have a detailed accounting, so it could be anything. I suspect the bulk is living expenses for several weeks until the new staffers found and moved into a place. If the closing was 6 weeks (very conservative estimate) on a house, that would be $12,600 on hotel alone ($300/night for downtown Ottawa). Several trips back and forth, bringing in family, etc. It quickly adds up. Moving expenses would be about $10-$20k for a family across the country, depending on the size of the family and stuff they have, and no not airfreight. I don't understand the real-estate costs being included, but if that is the case then that could easily be $15-$40k.

Let's ignore for a sec that you're only speculating... Civil servants did NOT get those kind of perks.... Why should political staffers in the PMO?

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