There has been much fuss about nothing recently over Sophie Grégoire Trudeau’s remarks that she needs more staff.
If we look at her situation it probably is true and she may very well need extra staff to deal with the volume of requests and correspondence she receives.
What the Trudeau’s need to do is put in place a game plan around what type of events will be supported and then decide who is going to pay for the staff to make it work.
Anyone who has been in government or even opposition knows the number of requests for you to support a cause or appear at events is mind-boggling. No matter how much you want to help, time constraints make it impossible. Every MP, every minister, every Prime Minister and yes their spouse has to face this head on.
First prioritize your events- political and other. Outside of politics focus on a few key areas that mean a lot to you.
Accept that by declining a request you will disappoint some of the requesters and look at other ways to offer support. If you can’t do an event in person, offer a letter of support that can be read out or use the power of technology and offer to do a short video that can be played at the event.
Who pays for the staff is always the issue. There could be issues with MPs using their House of Commons budget, but nothing wrong with PMO paying for extra staff or the Liberal Party paying for the extra staff that Sophie Trudeau needs. The Trudeau’s will have to keep in mind that if staff costs come out of the PMO budget it is still taxpayer’s dollars and those costs are still open to political attack. However, if the Liberal Party pays for the extra staff it dilutes the attacks on the wife of the Prime Minister and allows her to meet her obligations. It is a simple solution.
The PMO correspondence unit can make sure every letter addressed to Sophie Trudeau gets an acknowledgement. Staff for Mrs. Trudeau can comb few the requests and prioritize them based on the above game plan. Those that make that first cut are then presented once a week to Mrs. Trudeau and the correspondence unit sends out the appropriate note.
As I said, it is a lot of fuss about nothing.