Again: Not outraged

So, I see in iPolitics, that Serge Dupont, a former deputy clerk in the Privy Council Office, which made him a very senior civil servant, probably earning a salary  somewhere in the $175,000 to $225,000 range, and now a senior adviser for the prestigious international law firm Bennett Jones, has been hired to be an advisor in Justin Trudeau’s office. M Dupont, the article says “had been appointed on a “part-time basis” to help with the government’s response to an August ruling by the Federal Court of Appeal that quashed Ottawa’s approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.” I expect some outrage at his announced salary range: $1,250 to $1,470 per day … but not from me.

Even when I retired, more than a decade ago, I know, with absolute certainty, that “senior consultants” were routinely paid $1,000 per day, sometimes more, in both the private sector and in government. When the problem is serious and you need outside, expert advice then you need to pay top dollar. M Dupont is, I’m guessing, an expert in ““policy coordination and oversight” [of the government’s response to the court ruling which has stalled the Trans~Mountain project] to ensure “coherence between officials across government.”” That’s not an easy task and it is likely to be a thankless one, too, as Serge Dupont may have to insert himself into some very powerful bureaucratic fiefdoms and make sure that senior people who often hold divergent views and have different priorities all sing off the same sheet of music. I expect he’ll earn every penny.

This, getting the Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) project back on-line, before the October 2019 election, has to be one of Justin Trudeau’s highest priorities and I wish him well on getting it done because Canada needs it to happen, soon. He’s bringing in an expert consultant and he’s paying him a good, but not outlandish rate for his advice … I’m not outraged.

One thought on “Again: Not outraged

  1. What’s clear is that the government is committed to making the pipeline and the associated shipping happen. Now that begs the question on how to conduct consultations, because the question is not whether the project should move ahead, but how to minimize and mitigate impacts. My quick read of the court decision argued that bureaucrat did not apply enough vigour to the concerns brought forward and that the scope of the review was to narrow. The problem of course is how do apply mitigations to one class of vessels without applying them to all? Also analyzing impact in a complex biological ecosystem is very difficult, often without clear results. All the efforts to mitigate commercial shipping may have little to no effect on the Southern killer population.

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