Last updated on July 24th, 2019
Five months after leaving the Liberal Party, Gerald Butts is back amidst the Liberal ranks. Among the gathering of 60 at downtown Ottawa hotel for day-and-a-half to discuss the re-election strategy, Butts’ presence was seen as a strategic deployment by the party.
In February, Canadian Prime Minister’s Former top advisor stepped away after he was accused of inappropriately pressing Jody Wilson-Raybould, former attorney general. In her accusations the then-attorney general said that she was forced to cut ties with SNC Lavalin. Notably, in 2015, the Quebec engineering company and construction firm was charged for corruption and fraud related to contracts in Libya.
Although there has been intense scrutiny upon his arrival, but Butts’ exact role for the upcoming campaign still remains unclear. As per his interview with Huffington Post, in May, he showcased that he was looking forward to working in the private sector, which is highly unlikely to happen now. Correspondingly, he also indicated that he would still be available for any call from the Liberal party, despite what has transpired in the recent past.
For Trudeau, the campaign strategy weaves around working with his close aides. Just like Butts, he also has known Katie Telford from the time when she was running Gerard Kennedy’s campaign for the Liberal leadership in 2006. She became Trudeau’s chief of staff in 2015.
On the other hand, Conservatives, especially Leader Andrew Scheer condemned the move and wrote on his Twitter: “And just like that, the Trudeau team that brought Canadians the SNC Lavalin scandal is right back together.” In addition, he also billed the move as a “terrible judgement” of the Trudeau government.
Further raising voice on the matter, Scheer said, “In other words, the only people who told Canadians the truth about Trudeau’s corruption have been purged from the Liberal Party, while those who helped him cover it up have been rewarded.”
As elections approach in Canada, and Trudeau purges ahead with the aim of retaining his position, Butts’ involvement could both be audacious and perilous for the party. On the one hand, while his experience can make things better, on the other, it can completely change the course of elections in the opposition’s favor.
Meanwhile, the Liberal campaign will be led by Jeremy Broadhurst, a long-time party organizer and former chief of staff to Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland. Besides, Ralph Goodale, Navdeep Bains and Dominic LeBlanc, will also contribute for the election campaign.