Harper PMO paid hefty moving expenses, too

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OTTAWA – The Liberals are trying to turn the tables on Conservatives who’ve had a heyday with excessive moving expenses claimed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s two top aides.

They’ve revealed that former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper’s office paid out almost $325,000 in relocation expenses for 29 staffers — including a single move for one individual that came in at just over $93,000.

But the Tories point out that the Harper staffers’ total expense claims were run up over nine years, whereas Trudeau’s PMO has managed to rack up $220,564 for five staffers in just nine months.

The tit-for-tat ploy comes a day after Trudeau’s chief of staff, Katie Telford, and principal secretary, Gerald Butts, apologized for claiming $80,382 and $126,669 respectively in expenses incurred moving to Ottawa from Toronto.

The duo promised Thursday to reimburse a total of $65,000.

Trudeau initially defended his aides as having followed all the rules of a decades-old relocation policy that was last updated by the Harper government in 2011; he has since instructed Treasury Board to come up with a new policy.

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