Trust but verify: Ministerial policy advisors and public servants in the Government of Canada
Political advisors in Canada are comparatively numerous and highly differentiated in role. Based on a recent survey, this article examines how senior ministerial policy advisors, a subset of the political staff community, perceive their support for ministers and their relationships with public servants. It finds that they increase ministers' policy capacity, encourage greater responsiveness from public servants, and generally feel that they enjoy good relations with officials and respect their role. Since much depends on advisors' personal maturity, however, the paper endorses the Trudeau government's release of a code of conduct for ministerial-exempt staff as a means of embedding accountability more deeply within political staff culture.