“Katie and I feel like we owe people an explanation after the news stories involving our families over the last couple of days. Here’s our best shot at it.”
Trudeau has been under fire in recent days since it was revealed five of his staff members had expensed $220,000 in moving costs for their relocation to Ottawa. He has stood by the moving costs, saying all staff followed the rules in their claims.
WATCH: Trudeau takes heat over relocation expenses for top staffers
“The Canadian government has been covering relocation costs for senior public servants and ministers’ staff for a long time, since my father was prime minister of this country,” Trudeau told reporters Thursday.
“We followed all the rules … and I can assure everyone that both the policy itself and the administration of the policy was done in accordance with all rules.”
In the Facebook note, Butts breaks down the costs each of them claimed; Telford’s include $44,149 for real estate commission, fees and employer taxes, $10,735 for moving logistics, and $23,373 for personalized cash payout and incidentals.
Butts’ include $47,103 for real estate commission, fees and employer taxes, $14,636 for moving logistics, and $20,799 for personalized cash payout and incidentals.
“When we reviewed these costs, we decided that the amount called “personalized cash payout” which is for miscellaneous moving expenses is unreasonable, and we will both be reimbursing that amount,” the message states.
Butts will also reimburse land transfer costs, which is listed at $25,141.
Telford and Butts said they “will only be reimbursed for the hard costs of our families making the move.”
“We take full responsibility for this having happened and because of this we are sorry.”
Trudeau has asked the Treasury Board to create a new policy to govern such expenses, the note concludes.
**Editor’s note: The dollar amount in the headline has been changed from $220,000 to $200,000. The moving expense total for five PMO staff was $220,000; for Telford and Butts it was just more than $200,000. The headline has been updated for accuracy.
With a file from Andrew Russell