SCANDAL: Senior Liberal staffers Gerald Butts and Katie Telford to return $65K in ‘unreasonable’ moving expenses

Two of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s most trusted advisers are repaying more than $65,000 in “unreasonable” expenses after the Liberal government controversially approved $207,052.11 to cover the cost of moving the pair from Toronto to Ottawa. 

Trudeau’s principal secretary Gerald Butts posted a statement on Facebook Thursday evening, saying that his initial claim of $126,669.56 and Trudeau’s chief of staff Katie Telford’s claim of $80,382.55 contained unreasonable charges. 

Telford claimed:

  • Moving logistics: $10,735.50
  • Real estate commission, fees and employer taxes: $44,149.40
  • Personalized cash payout and incidentals: $23,373.71
  • Administration fees: $1,577.94
  • Travel: $546

Butts claimed:

  • Moving logistics: $14,636.39
  • Real estate commission, fees and employer taxes: $47,103.56
  • Personalized cash and incidentals: $20,799.10
  • Land transfer tax, legal fees and insurance: $25,141.31
  • Temporary rental lodging (apartment): $18,247.60
  • Administration fees: $468.60
  • Travel: $273

The statement goes on to say that both staffers now consider the “personalized cash and incidentals” they charged were inappropriate and will be reimbursed in full. 

Blaine‎ Calkins, Conservative critic for ethics, said Trudeau still needs to explain to Canadians why he gave taxpayer money to his two staffers in the first place.

“The fact is, Conservatives caught the prime minister’s friends with their hands in the cookie jar. They would have gotten away with this without Conservatives acting as the taxpayers’ watchdog,” said Calkins.

“This outrageous abuse of public funds is unacceptable and taxpayers won’t stand for it,” he added.

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