Mike Duffy infamously referred to staff in the Prime Minister’s Office as “kids in short pants,” but Elizabeth May appears to have done the embattled senator one better.
Speaking at a town hall in Nanaimo, B.C. on April 13, the federal Green Party leader and MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands called the PMO “a $10-million-a-year partisan operation filled with ruthless, cutthroat psychopaths.”
May later told Metro her comments were made “in jest,” but insisted they’re indicative of a common attitude among staff in Ottawa’s back rooms.
“They’re these unelected, hyper-partisan political operatives,” she said. “They’re really just all about winning and they have a take-no-prisoners attitude.”
In recent years, PMO staffers have faced a raft of accusations, including harassing or disparaging bureaucrats, penning talking points for MPs, handing out “enemy lists” to cabinet members and interfering with both access to information requests and local nomination races.
“The staff at the PMO have no allegiance to anything other than getting the Conservative Party re-elected. And they feel entitled to tear strips off bureaucrats at all levels of the system,” May said. “It completely offends the principles of parliamentary democracy.”
May was clear the “sociopathic” attitude she described cuts across party lines, and said it stems from the power held by party leaders.
Green Party’s Elizabeth May calls PMO staff ‘ruthless psychopaths’ | Metro (external - login to view)