Two members of Justin Trudeau's Liberal cabinet have used taxpayer money for media training from a company owned by a CBC pundit and from a company that was later hired to subcontract for WE Charity.
Conservative MP Luc Berthold (Mégantic—L'Érable) tabled the following order paper question:
With regard to contracts issued by ministers' offices for the purpose of media training, since December 1, 2019: what are the details of all such contracts, including the (i) vendors, (ii) dates of contract, (iii) dates of training, (iv) individuals far whom the training was for, (v) amounts?
The response reveals that Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade Mary Ng (Markham—Thornhill) and Minister of Public Services and Procurement Anita Anand (Oakville) hired some interesting firms.
Global Affairs Hires Three Contracts, Including Firm Owned by CBC Pundit
Two companies, Scout Public Affairs Inc. and Pomp & Circumstance, were hired by Global Affairs for three training sessions:
- Scout Public Affairs Inc. was paid $7,500.04 to train Minister Ng, special assistant Laurel Salli and press secretary Ryan Nearing on January 15, 2020.
- Pomp & Circumstance was paid $16,950 to train Minister Ng and director of communications Eleanore Catenaro on April 10, 2020 and on May 3, 2020.
- Scout Public Affairs Inc. was paid $5,850 for another round of training, this time for Minister Ng, director of communications Eleanore Catenaro, special assistant Alice Hansen and press secretary Youmy Han on November 11, 2020.
Pomp & Circumstance is owned by professed Liberal Amanda Alvaro, a regular pundit on CBC's Power and Politics.
The decision to pay Alvaro's firm more than $22,000 to provide “media coaching” to Liberal cabinet minister Maryam Monsef in 2019 was criticized by media in January 2020 when the figures were released.
Public Services and Procurement Canada Hires WE Charity Sub-Contractor
National Public Relations Inc. trained Minister Anita Anand on January 30, 2020 at a cost of $3,800.
WE Charity would later hire National on May 29, 2020 to help “support the mobilization of student volunteers and non-profit organizations” in the management of Justin Trudeau's nearly $900 million Canadian Student Service Grant program.
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