News / Canada

Trudeau's top staff to repay portion of $200K in moving expenses

The $200,000 bill to move two senior staff from Toronto to Ottawa dogged Liberals in the House of Commons.

Katie Telford and Gerald Butts say they were following a long-standing government policy which left them eligible to claim “a bunch of costs that we don’t feel comfortable about.”

The Canadian Press

Katie Telford and Gerald Butts say they were following a long-standing government policy which left them eligible to claim “a bunch of costs that we don’t feel comfortable about.”

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's two top aides have decided to repay a portion of the $207,000 in expenses they incurred in moving to Ottawa from Toronto.

Chief of staff Katie Telford and principal secretary Gerald Butts say they followed all the rules but don't feel comfortable about some of the relocation costs to which they were entitled.

Both will reimburse the government for miscellaneous moving expenses — $23,373 for Telford and $20,299 for Butts.

Butts also says he will further reimburse $25,141 for the land transfer tax associated with his family's new Ottawa home.

In a statement posted on their Facebook pages and released to the media, the pair apologized for the controversy that has surrounded the moving expenses since they were revealed by the government earlier this week in response to written question from a Conservative MP.

They say they followed the policy that's been in place for decades but say Trudeau has asked Treasury Board to create a new policy to govern relocation expenses across the whole of government.