It is unusual to have Ottawa related political news occurring this time of year.
However, recently the unusual in politics has become the usual.
In late December, media were made aware of what they described as a "secret meeting" that occurred between Prime Minister Trudeau and Joshua Boyle. Joshua Boyle was recently freed after being held in captivity in Afghanistan for the previous five years.
Why media were suspicious of this particular meeting was due to the fact that the meeting, and the reasons for it, were not publicly disclosed by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
Journalists only discovered this meeting had occurred when members of the Boyle family circulated pictures on social media.
This week Ottawa police announced that Joshua Boyle was being charged with 15 different offences from alleged actions that include assault, sexual assault, unlawful confinement, uttering threats, public mischief and administering a noxious thing. These alleged offences are related to the period of time since Mr. Boyle returned to Canada in October 2017.
As a result of this situation there are serious questions being asked on why the Prime Minister requested a meeting with Mr. Boyle. By extension questions have been raised on security protocols that should protect the Prime Minister. The judgement of the advisers who represent Mr.Trudeau in allowing this meeting to go forward also come into focus.
The judgement of the advisers working in the PMO was also raised when the Prime Minister was recently found guilty of four counts of ethics violations. These violations were related to free luxury vacations the Prime Minister accepted from a registered lobbyist who receives millions in Government of Canada funding.
The judgement of advisers and political staff is a subject that is seldom raised outside of Ottawa.
For obvious reasons, it is being questioned currently.
I have also had some questions on this topic and I can report that the most recently audited expenses for what is called the “Trudeau PMO” were $8.3 Million in the 2016-2017 fiscal period.
As a comparison this figure is higher than during any year in the previous Prime Minister’s last term in office.
All elected officials have staff and in the case of politically appointed staff, they typically only work in their capacity until the writ period, when the election is called. At that point, the vast majority will become unemployed.
Rehiring depends on who is re-elected and if employment is again offered.
In the case of the Prime Minister, some are suggesting a staff shakeup is required. Others see this as unfairly throwing the staff under the bus.
Most agree that answers are needed on why Prime Minister Trudeau met with Joshua Boyle and why this meeting was kept confidential.
My question this week – Do you believe Canadians deserve an answer to why this meeting was held between Prime Minister Trudeau and Joshua Boyle?
I can be reached by email Dan.Albas@parl.g.ca or at 1-800-665-8711.
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Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.