Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s close relationship with the mainstream media is no secret. 

When he’s not offering journalists poutine or bailing out the mainstream media, Trudeau likes to give members of the press jobs in his government. 

Here is True North’s list of eight former reporters or members of the press who went on to work with the Liberals since Trudeau’s election in 2015. 

Michael Den Tandt – Communications Advisor for Canada-US Relations

In February 2017, the PMO’s director of communications Kate Purchase announced the appointment of Michael Den Tandt to the position of communications advisor for Canada-US relations. 

Before scoring a spot with the federal government, Den Tandt was a journalist and columnist with the National Post for nearly half a decade.

Prior to working with Postmedia, Den Tandt was employed by The Globe and Mail and QMI. 

James Cudmore – Senior Advisor and Director of Policy

Former CBC reporter James Cudmore first took a position with the Liberal government in 2016 when he signed on to work as a senior policy advisor to Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan.

Cudmore eventually went on to become Sajjan’s director of policy before taking on the same position in the office of the Minister of Democratic Institutions.

While he was a reporter, Cudmore broke a story about a controversial $688 million supply ship proposal after Vice-Admiral Mark Norman provided him with sensitive documentation. Shortly after publishing the story, Cudmore took a job with the federal government.

The Conservative opposition at the time accused the Liberals of muzzling Cudmore while the government sought to prosecute Norman.

“Was his position created to reward for his great reporting or were the Liberals trying to shut Cudmore up?” asked Conservative MP James Bezan. 

David Taylor – Director of Communications

In 2017, former CTV editor and CBC senior producer David Taylor began to work for the Liberal government. 

Taylor has worked as a director of communications for three ministers. He first took a position as former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Jody Wilson-Raybould’s communications head in January 2017.

Taylor then went on to work in the same position for the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities from December 2019 to September 2020. He is now the director of communications for Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti. 

Bruce Cheadle – Director of Communications, Director of Issues Management

Veteran Canadian Press national affairs and energy reporter Bruce Cheadle first took a job with the Liberals in February 2017. At the time, Cheadle served with former Treasury Board of Canada president Scott Brison, until Brison resigned in January 2019. 

Cheadle is currently the director of issues management for Infrastructure and Communities Canada. 

Terry Guillon – Lead Media Advance at the Prime Minister’s Office

Before leading Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s press conference appearances, Terry Guillon managed the administration of the Parliamentary Press Gallery. 

In February 2016, Guillon announced that he would be retiring from his Parliamentary Press Gallery position and taking up a job at the Prime Minister’s office, where he heads media logistics.

“I love this business and I definitely want to stay in it, and we’ll see for how long. And I’m so glad that I have this opportunity to basically move on to something that’s related to what I do now and on a bigger scale,” Guillon said at the time.

Allan Thompson 

Allan Thompson worked for 17 years as a Toronto Star reporter and media educator before being nominated twice to run for the Liberal party in the 2015 and 2019 elections. 

Chrystia Freeland – Deputy Prime Minister, Finance Minister

While she is now arguably the most powerful woman in Canada, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland used to be a journalist at a number of mainstream media outlets including the Financial Times, The Washington Post and The Economist.

From 1999 to 2001, Freeland served as a deputy editor for The Globe and Mail, where she also contributed a weekly column. 

Freeland was handpicked by the Liberals to run in Toronto Centre’s 2013 byelection. She was then elected as Member of Parliament for University—Rosedale in October 2015, a riding that she still holds today.

Marci Ien – Liberal Candidate

CTV’s The Social host Marci Ien was recently acclaimed as the Liberal candidate for Toronto Centre in the upcoming October 26 byelection. 

Ien was picked as the Liberal nominee in the riding of former finance minister Bill Morneau on the very same day that she first announced her intent to run for the nomination.

Colin Horgan – Liberal Party of Canada Speechwriter

In 2014, iPolitics journalists Colin Horgan teamed up with the Liberal Party of Canada as a speechwriter.

The position, which lasted over a year, spilled over into Trudeau’s first term as prime minister in 2015.

According to his LinkedIn, Horgan has also worked as a writer/producer for CTV News, and as a digital editor and contributing writer for Maclean’s magazine.

+ posts

Journalist and Senior Research Fellow

We’re asking readers, like you, to make a contribution in support of True North’s fact-based, independent journalism.

Unlike the mainstream media, True North isn’t getting a government bailout. Instead, we depend on the generosity of Canadians like you.

How can a media outlet be trusted to remain neutral and fair if they’re beneficiaries of a government handout? We don’t think they can.

This is why independent media in Canada is more important than ever. If you’re able, please make a tax-deductible donation to True North today. Thank you so much.