Toronto’s 50 Most Influential: #5, Gerald Butts

Toronto's 50 Most Influential: #5, Gerald Butts
Gerald Butts Photograph courtesy of Gerald Butts

Gerald Butts

Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister

5Look at any photo of Trudeau and you’re likely to see a bespectacled bystander in the background. Butts, the most powerful unelected person in Ottawa, advises the PM on every piece of policy to come through the PMO. He accompanied the PM to Davos, China and the U.S., walked with him at Pride and head-bobbed at the Tragically Hip show. The ex-CEO of WWF Canada orchestrated an environmental pact with President Obama and convinced most of the premiers to support the $15.7-billion Energy East Pipeline. He also played a central role in the pension plan enhancement, a middle-class tax cut and a revamp of the child- benefit program.

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