11.30.2015 07:45 AM

Ottawa job interview tip: wear a red tie

Some journalists – well, just one, actually, and I’m not sure I’d even call him a journalist – are upset that hiring is not happening at quicker pace up in Ottawa. The rest of Canada, meanwhile, couldn’t give a hoot.

From today’s Hill Times:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Papineau, Que.) and his new Liberal government, however, have been busy with a long slate of work: from the UN climate talks in Paris starting Nov. 30, to reinstating the long form census, to ironing out plans to bring in 25,000 Syrian refugees, to multiple international meetings, including the G20 and APEC summit, and more. Finance Minister Bill Morneau (Toronto Centre, On.) published an economic and fiscal projections update last week, and there’s also the Speech from the Throne on Dec. 4.

Warren Kinsella, president of Daisy Consulting and a former Liberal staffer during the Jean Chrétien era, said it can take “two to three months” for a new government to get fully staffed up, and while all ministers will be eager to have exempt staff in place to help handle the government’s busy agenda, the process of vetting new staff takes time. It’s also been almost a decade since the Liberals were last in federal government.

“Not only do they usually have to be approved by the PMO, but they have to go through a security background check [by the RMCP], and, in some cases, those can be quite involved … some of those assessments can take weeks or months to conclude and you’re not permitted as a minister to extend an employment offer until it’s done,” said Mr. Kinsella.

“You can bring somebody in on a part-time basis, or on contract, but they’re not allowed to look at any Cabinet documents because they don’t have their security clearance, so there’s kind of no point,” he said, adding that staff don’t just go through security checks but also other party vetting, including checking staffers’ personal history for potential future embarrassments

9 Comments

  1. John says:

    They are being selective and careful. This is a good thing, no?
    And I know of the “journalist” of which you speak. Not so much a journalist… More like a barely literate busybody.

  2. Aongasha says:

    Why go through the hassel? Denis Coderre seems to be looking after his Liberal buds and of course yelling for taxpayers dollars to pay the costs of his refugee program.
    http://www.canada.com/business/syrian+refugee+coordinator+montreal+make+welcome/11551856/story.html?__lsa=bb7a-270d

  3. Kev says:

    There is a yawning chasm between “getting fully staffed” up, and NOT BEING STAFFED AT ALL, WK.

  4. Matt says:

    Let’s just hope all parties vetting for staff isn’t being done by the same people who vetted the candidates for the last election.

  5. Sean says:

    this PMO will be run by the Martin thugs…. so expect staff appts to be based only on the ability to sell memberships…. to maintain a stranglehold on the party.

    and on the subject of appts… expect Maryam Monsef’s campaign manager to be JT’s first appt to the Senate….

  6. dean sherratt says:

    I would think that ministerial staffers would be close to the top of the lists for clearances…but that top would be shared with the first wave of OIC appointments.

  7. Barry says:

    Jesus, who gives a shit if the Liberals aren’t fully staffed yet. Obviously they’re working towards filling all the necessary roles, its not like they’re intentionally ignoring them. The only reason people are making an issue out of this is because the Liberals are opening government up to more scrutiny –this doesn’t mean we need to nit-pick at the dumbest things.

    Give it 2 months and the same people you hear bitching about under-staffing are going to be complaining that there are too many staffers.

    As someone who is personally effected by the hiring process, I’ll admit the length of time this is taking is killing me. But I understand that this is part of process and these things can take some time. It’s not the best situation to be in; having to sit and wait for some word for Ottawa, but its going to get done at some point. Its just a game of patience. And its not like this is taking monumentally longer than previous transitions. Think about it, going from a rump of a third party to huge majority government is going to take some time getting the right footing, structurally speaking.

    That journalist you are referring to has had a stick up his ass for quite sometime now. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate the guy or anything, but he’s gotta tone down the “I’m always right” rhetoric. Its condescending.

  8. Kevin says:

    To inject a note of reality into the discussion, I’ve worked for years in a department that is very security-conscious, and had a part of my division responsible for security clearances. They are not given out lightly. I had a TS and NATO, and I had to earn those by proving my trustworthiness. That it takes time to vet PMO staff is not a surprise. That it took no time at all to vet the previous PMO staff WAS a surprise. ‘Nuff said.

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