Tory attacks on Trudeau boomerang, raise questions about PMO involvement

OTTAWA - Conservative attacks against Justin Trudeau's paid public speaking career have boomeranged into questions about the propriety of using the Prime Minister's Office to fire off purely partisan missiles.

The tables have turned since the Barrie Advancer outed the PMO as the source of documents circulated to media Monday that showed three fundraising events headlined by the Liberal leader in 2006 — before he became an MP — lost money.

The prime minister's staff were also busy last week handing out copies of a letter from a New Brunswick charity that wanted Trudeau to reimburse his $20,000 fee for speaking at a money-losing event last year.

It has since been revealed that at least one member of the charity's board is a well-connected Conservative, whose husband is on the executive of local Tory MP Rob Moore's riding association.

Questions about the propriety of using his taxpayer-funded office to launch strictly partisan attacks followed Prime Minister Stephen Harper all the way to Northern Ireland, where he was holding a wrap-up news conference at the end of a G8 summit meeting.

Harper dodged the question, replying only that he believes it is inappropriate for a sitting MP to accept payment for speeches to charitable organizations.